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NZers happy to handle big sums of cash via mobile devices

17 June 2014

New Zealanders happy to handle big sums of cash via mobile devices

Nearly 70% of New Zealanders are confident to deal with amounts up to $10,000 through mobile banking and 15% are comfortable handling sums of $50,000 or more according to the latest Westpac Mobile Banking Report.

The online survey of 820 people follows the first Westpac Mobile Banking Report in late 2013. The findings show New Zealanders are spending more time using mobile banking and doing more specialised tasks including:
• 87% transfer funds (up 4% on 2013 report)
• 73% pay bills (up 9%)
• 55% pay friends (up 7%)
• 34% set up new payees (up 7%)
• 26% check interest rates (up 7%)
• 26% use it to find a branch or ATM (up 9%)

Westpac Chief Digital Officer Simon Pomeroy said the report shows that New Zealanders are using mobile banking more, becoming more comfortable and familiar with it and extending what they do. This is reflected by the large sums of cash they are happy to deal with via a mobile device.

“The report underlines the convenience and control that customers want to have over their banking and how they can achieve that via a mobile device. They can do what they want, when they want from where ever they want,” Mr Pomeroy said.

“We continue to see a lift in customers who say that by using mobile banking they have an increased awareness of their finances (up 3%), that it allows them to pay their bills on time (up 11%), it’s easy to do (up 6%) and it saves them time (up 5%). And just under 75% want to be able to do everything on a mobile device that they can do on a desktop computer which is something we aim to deliver to our customers in August or September.”

The report also gives insight into the impact of mobile banking on visiting branches and how New Zealanders view the trend toward wearable technology such as Google Glass and SmartWatches.

Of those using mobile banking, 44% say it makes no difference to whether they visit a branch while 55% say they visit a branch less. Emerging technologies like Google Glass and SmartWatches appeal to Kiwis with 26% of those surveyed responding that they are highly likely or somewhat likely to use them. In addition, 48% of those said they would use these new technology platforms for banking.

“Wearable technology is getting attention around the world and it is clear New Zealanders want to use it as well, including for banking. We have made good progress in making sure our apps are ready for customers to use when Google Glass and SmartWatches are publicly available here and we will continue to take a global view in what we deliver for our customers,” Mr Pomeroy said.

The report also shows that New Zealanders are using smart devices more often throughout the day and while the use of tablets is growing strongly, the smart phone is still the device of choice.

The report shows that the peak time for using a smartphone is between 7am - midday (56% up 15%) with the next heaviest use coming between 5pm - 8pm (49% up 12%). While tablets continue to be used throughout the day, they are most often used between 5pm - 8pm (40% up 16%).

The increased usage of smart devices is reflected in the increased time spent on mobile banking according to the report. While nearly 70% spend up to one hour per week mobile banking, 6% (up 2%) are spending up to three hours a week. This increased usage is reflected by a 23% growth in the volume of mobile banking payments between January and May 2014 by Westpac customers - 1.55 million payments for a value of $368 million.

Fact Box
What NZers are doing via mobile banking*
• 87% use it to transfer funds (up 4%)
• 73% pay bills (up 9%)
• 55% pay friends (up 7%)
• 34% set up new payees (up 7%)
• 26% check interest rates (up 7%)
• 26% use it to find a branch or ATM (up 9%)

The benefits NZers see in mobile banking*
• 67% have an increased awareness of their finances (up 3%)
• 54% say it allows them to pay their bills on time (up 11%)
• 65% say it’s easier to do (up 6%)
• 68% say it saves them time (up 5%)
• 57% say it makes me feel more in control of my money (up 4%)

Wearable Technology
• 26% are somewhat or highly likely to use Google Glass and SmartWatches
• 48% of those say that could extends to using for banking

*All comparisons are with the first Westpac Mobile Banking Report released in October 2013.
The Westpac Mobile Banking Report for 2014 was conducted in May via an online survey of 820 by Westpac.

ENDS

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