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Brazil’s banking industry reached a tipping point last year as digital transactions increased their share of total banking transactions to 52%, according to research from Federação Brasileira de Bancos (FEBRABAN).
Overall, the number of banking transactions conducted digitally in Brazil totaled 18.6 billion last year. Nonfinancial transactions were responsible for most of that activity. According to FEBRABAN, more than eight in 10 (82%) banking transactions conducted digitally in Brazil in 2014 were nonfinancial, vs. just 18% that were related to financial activities such as transferring funds.
November 2014 polling by Bain & Company found that 66% of banking customers in Brazil had used a computer for routine transactions in the past quarter. And in January 2015 research by Nielsen IBOPE, banking sites saw 27.9 million unique visitors, or a reach of 39.3% among internet users.
The future for mobile banking also looks bright—but don’t expect users to go mobile-only any time soon. A study by Opinion Box conducted in December 2014 for Mobile Time found that 51.5% of smartphone owners in Brazil accessed their bank account on both computers and smartphones. One-third only used a computer, 4.1% were smartphone-only, and 11.4% didn’t use either device.
But other research suggests that mobile banking apps have a long way to go in adoption. When Opinion Box queried smartphone owners in Brazil in April 2015 about their most-used smartphone apps, banking landed in dead last among categories, with just 1.3% of respondents including it in their top three choices.
One reason for low mobile banking app usage could be due to security concerns. In an October 2014 study by Symantec, 69% of smartphone users in Brazil cited banking or financial info as the personal information they were most worried about being shared or sold by mobile apps; this was the second-highest response, behind usernames and passwords (76%).
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