Brazilians embrace mobile banking

The channel has seen expressive growth over recent months as users start to gain confidence, says study.

Mobile banking has seen substantial growth in Brazil last year as users started to become more confident to transact over the channel, according to research.

Banking over mobile devices grew by 96 percent in 2016 over the previous year, with 21,9 million transactions carried out through that channel, says the study by the Brazilian Banking Federation (FEBRABAN) on technology use across the local banking industry.

Some 42 million bank accounts in Brazil are enabled for access via mobile platforms, according to the study, a 27 percent increase on 2015.

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Of these active mobile banking users, some 9,5 million are considered "heavy users" who carry out more than 8- percent of their banking business over that channel.

Usage patterns within m-banking have evolved in recent years and Brazilians are becoming more confident to carry out financial transactions rather than just balance checks, the study adds. Indeed, the three main types of transactions Brazilians carry out over mobile devices listed by the research are mainly money transfers, followed by bill payments and, lastly, balance checks.

The growth in mobile has impacted traditional Internet banking use: the transaction total via that banking channel has dropped from 14 billion in 2015 to 11.6 billion in 2016.

According to the FEBRABAN study, Internet banking is used for more complex transactions that are not available on mobile but still can be done without the need to go to a physical branch.

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