'

Mobile becomes main banking channel in Brazil

Smartphones and tablets surpass Internet banking for the first time, says Central Bank.

The mobile channel has surpassed Internet banking for the first time in Brazil, according to statistics from the Brazilian Central Bank.

Some 24,5 billion banking transactions were carried out via smartphones and tablets in 2017, up 46,7 percent when compared to the 16,7 billion transactions in the prior year, according to the statistics on retail and card payments in Brazil.

Internet banking transactions, at 20,6 billion, had a minor increase in relation to 2016, when 20,3 billion transactions via that channel were recorded. Transactions carried out at the branch dropped to 8,1 billion from 8,9 billion in 2016, according to the Central Bank report.

Drivers behind the m-banking uptake include the ever increasing growth in smartphone adoption. According to predictions by Brazilian think tank and university Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV), the number of smartphones in Brazil should match population growth by 2022 and reach 236 million.

Also, 4G provision has been improving in Brazil. According to consulting firm OpenSignal, the country has jumped to the 42nd position in a ranking of 77 countries listed in the State of the LTE report in 2017. In 2016, Brazil ranked 52nd.