Bank Branch to Mobile: Southeast Asia’s Payment Position


April 1st, 2015 - Posted by Steph Eggleston

This week, Novatti takes a look into the payment behaviour and attitudes of the Southeast Asia region. Based on research by RFi Group, traditional bank branches still play an important role, yet mobile is increasingly being favoured for banking purposes in Indonesia.

In Indonesia and Malaysia, 76% of bank customers own a mobile phone, and Thai bank customers are not far behind with 68% owning a mobile.

So what are the attitudes towards mobile banking?

The ease and convenience of mobile banking garner interest from retail banking customers. Research across the three countries surveyed shows mobile banking technology as being:

  • Easy (87% of respondents)
  • Quick (87% of respondents)
  • Convenient (82% of respondents)

However, small screens (64%) and hacking concerns (60%) remain an issue among the population.  There is still keen awareness and consideration, with 86% of respondents interested in trying new ways of banking, and 80% seeing the need for mobile phone banking technology in day-to-day life.

When it comes to banking, the traditional branch falls short. Significantly, of the people surveyed, more had used mobile banking than conventional bank branches in the last month. It was found that 63% of respondents visited a bank branch once a month or more while 68% used mobile banking technology once a month or more.

So, which online banking tasks are most valued? 

According to the RFI group, the top three tasks performed using mobile banking services were:

  • Balance and recent transaction checks (41% of respondents)
  • Transferring money to family or friends (36% of respondents)
  • Paying bills (28% of respondents)

With all this use of mobile, what operating systems are they using?

Results varied across Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. Ultimately, Android came out on top.

  • Android (61%, 59% and 67%)
  • Blackberry (17%, 4% and 2%)
  • iPhone (10%, 22% and 13%)

While branches still play an important role, seven in ten would consider using bank agents rather than visit their bank branch. How long until mobile banking technology renders the branch redundant?

To download the full report by the RFi Group, click here.

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Steph Eggleston

PR at Novatti

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