Mobile accounts for nearly half of all banking transactions in Brazil

The number of transactions soars as consumer confidence in the channel increases, according to the Brazilian Banking Federation.

Brazilians have embraced mobile banking as their preferred means to handle their banking affairs as the channel accounted for nearly half of all transactions carried out last year, according to a new report.

The latest research on banking technology trends carried out by Deloitte on behalf of the Brazilian Banking Federation (FEBRABAN) also shows that the number of transactions overall, so any interaction involving a financial element or not, has seen an increase of 24 percent in 2018 in relation to the prior year.

Out of every 10 banking transactions in Brazil, with or without a financial component, six are carried out digitally, so via a mobile device or a computer, the report added.

Of all the banking transactions carried out in 2018, 40 percent took place via mobile banking. By comparison, the channel represented only 10 percent of transactions back in 2014, the FEBRABAN report pointed out.

The research noted that in 2018, some 2.5 billion payments and transfers were made through mobile banking, which, according to the report, surpassed internet banking in Brazil.

However, the Brazilian Central Bank had already reported that Internet banking had been surpassed by mobile last year, driven by increasing growth in smartphone adoption.

Transactions involving a financial component grew 80 percent in Brazil last year, according to the FEBRABAN study. This was driven by the increase in bill payments made through that channel, which have reached 1.6 billion instances in 2018.

Money transfers via mobile banking have also seen an increase in Brazil, up 119 percent. According to the report, some 862 million such transactions took place through the channel last year.

The surge in new digital bank accounts is another highlight of the survey, with 2.5 million accounts opened via mobile channels in 2018 compared to 1.6 million in the previous year.

"The ease of being able to solve financial issues by just using the cell phone is a key point of the growth [seen in 2018]," said director of technology and banking automation at FEBRABAN, Gustavo Fosse.

The increase in financial transactions through mobile banking suggests that Brazilian consumers feel increasingly confident to use the channel, Fosse added.

According to the report, digital communications have also grown considerably in banking, with web chat interactions up 364 percent and customer service requests handled by chatbots growing from 3 million in 2017 to 80.6 million in 2018.

The FEBRABAN research on banking technology is in its 27th year and involved 20 banking organisations with operations in Brazil.