Brazilian Banks See Evolution of Mobile Channels During Covid-19

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Mobile banking hit an all-time high in Brazil in 2020 as broader developments boost channel adoption during the Covid-19 pandemic, research shows.

The channel now accounts for more than half (51%) of banking transactions carried out last year, or the equivalent of 52.9 billion transactions against 37 billion in 2019, according to the annual survey of technological trends in the banking sector of the Brazilian Association of Banks (FEBRABAN) carried out by Deloitte.

Considering all channels (mobile, internet banking, point-of-sale terminals, branches, ATMs, bank representatives and contact centers), total transactions reached 103.56 billion transactions in 2020, an increase of 20% compared to the previous year, notes the study.

According to the FEBRABAN / Deloitte study, the Internet and mobile banking together represent 67% of all transactions. The two channels represent 8 out of 10 bill payments in Brazil and 9 out of 10 credit agreements.

When it comes to accounts opened through digital channels, 8 out of 21 banks surveyed collectively reported 7.6 million new bank accounts, a 90% increase from 2019. The number of active mobile bank accounts has more than doubled in 2020 compared to the previous one. year, notes the study, from 92.4 million to 198.2 million.

As a result of government emergency aid provided to financially vulnerable citizens, some 70 million new accounts have been opened by previously unbanked people, through mobile channels, according to the study.

The research also noted that even without taking emergency aid into account, the growth of mobile banking services would have been 39% in 2020. According to the survey, heavy users of mobile banking services in Brazil (users who perform more than 80% of their banking transactions through a single channel) saw an increase of 113%, from 35.7 million to 76.3 million last year.

Transactions involving money through mobile banking channels also saw an increase of 64% in 2020, according to the study. Investments through this channel saw an increase of 63%, as well as money transfers (60%), bill payments (51%) and credit agreements (44%).

The implementation of the Pix instant payment system last November also contributed to the increase in the use of financial services through digital services in Brazil, according to the study. Based on responses from the 21 banks surveyed, instant transactions through Pix in November totaled 59.2 million in November 2020 and their number increased to 338.2 million in March 2021.

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