Global Study Identifies Impact of Smartphone Use on M-banking and M-payments

A study of mobile banking (m-banking) and payment (m-payment) adoption rates in 14 countries by ACI Worldwide and Aite Group has discovered a new category of consumer, known as ‘smartphonatics’, that is driving the demand for mobile payments and banking. A smartphonatic is someone who changes their shopping, financial and payment behaviour as a result of owning a smartphone.

The report identifies a stark difference between mobile adoption among smartphonatics and other consumers: while 80% of smartphonatics have used their smartphones for mobile banking only one-third of non-smartphonatics report doing so. Similarly 70% of smartphonatics have used their smartphones for m-payments, less than a quarter of non-smartphonatics have done so.

The report asserts that smartphonatics’ behaviour is shaping consumers’ needs and requirements for m-payment and m-banking solutions in today’s market, and sets the bar for how financial institutions and retailers will have to respond over the next five years to stay competitive.

“Smartphonatics enthusiastically use their smartphones when they shop for products and services as well as when they interact with their banks,” said Ron Shevlin, senior analyst, Aite Group. “They exist around the world and while they may be more concentrated in some countries it is quite clear they are an emerging consumer force. Smartphonatics are driving the adoption of m-banking and m-payments and will be an agent for change. Financial and retail institutions will need to adapt or risk being left behind.”

Smartphonatics vary by region and age: smartphonatics more common in India and China than in the US and Europe. The report details specific geographic and demographic trends among this emerging market segment. Principal findings include:

  • Globally, nearly 25% of consumers can be classified as smartphonatics.
  • Identified smartphonatics’ by country represent a country’s mobile maturity level: India has the highest percentage of identified smartphonatics, at 60%, followed by South Africa (42%). The fewest are found in Germany (10%), France (8%) and Canada (7%). The US ranks in the middle at 20%.
  • Mobile banking adoption: India also ranks highest for mobile banking adoption at 76%, followed by China. Germany, with a 24% adoption rate, and Canada at 18% have the lowest rate of adoption.
  • M-payment services (i.e. use of the smartphone to make a payment in a shop or to another person) from surveyed countries ranges from two-thirds of respondents in China and India to only 15% usage reported by Canadian participants and 13% reported by the French.
  • Smartphonatics are young: 36% of Gen Yers are smartphonatics as are nearly one-third of Gen Xers. The number drops significantly among both baby boomers at 18% and seniors at 6%.


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