Mobile Internet usage, which we can see evolving at lightning speed, is now topping desktop. Nowhere is this more true than in the fintech sector.
Indeed, banks have been moving and adapting to demand for mobile banking in recent years, as more and more individuals are opting to use their smartphone or tablet to undertake their banking activities, rather than visiting traditional branches.
The stats speak for themselves. A survey carried out by Collinson Group in September last year revealed that 83 per cent of working UAE residents regularly use banking and finance apps - quite the leap from 36 per cent in 2014.
With 98 per cent of those surveyed in possession of a smartphone, their bank is, literally, in their pocket. Advantages, the principal ones being convenience, speed and ease of use, are all pulling people towards mobile banking.
Nearly all facets of financial management are now far more user-friendly and accessible with the use of app banking. Customers can check their balance in a matter of seconds from their phone, which is, naturally, far more convenient and quicker than visiting a branch or using telephone banking services.
In addition, smartphone features such as fingerprint ID allow people to access their banking app with just a couple of taps - even quicker than typing in a pin number. Increased mobile internet connectivity speed using 4G has also played a part in the growing use of banking apps.
As such, the banking sector is going through a significant shift. Indeed, as GCC banks recognise the significance of optimising their mobile banking services, almost half are intending to allocate up to $20 million on enhancing their mobile technology between now and 2021.
These banks are undergoing transformations to rely less on a network of branches, with the primary onus on being digital-first. They recognise that as well as just having digital channels, the entire operating model of the bank needs to be modified to cultivate this change and innovation.
Indeed, opening a new bank now with traditional branches would be akin to posting a letter rather than using email, or opting for a typewriter over a laptop. The banking sector, and the world, has moved on in leaps and bounds.
Consequently, as technology continues to progress and mobile banking apps advance and improve, among the ground-breaking functions will be the option for currency exchange on the fly, with zero or minimal applicable rates.
Of course, this will be an exceptionally appealing feature for nations where there are high numbers of expatriates residing, such as the UAE.
Therefore, it's highly likely that both users and investors will greatly benefit from the exceptional convenience of app-only banking, which, it can be reasonably assumed, will see the end of traditional banks in the not-too-distant future.
Source: Khaleej Times
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