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UAE among top three in mobile banking adoption

Staff Report
Filed on July 23, 2014

The UAE ranks as one of the world’s top three countries in mobile banking adoption, according to a new global SAP study on technology in banking.

Mobile banking is following a similar usage curve to online banking, with the UAE, China, and India leading in adoption. In emerging markets, mobile devices provide access to financial services to previously under-banked populations.

More than six out of 10 participants (65 per cent) said mobile is the most important trend for the future, followed by in-memory computing (48 per cent) and cloud (47 per cent).

“The UAE’s impressive ranking as a global leader in mobile banking adoption demonstrates the country’s strong culture of innovation and early adoption of mobile technology,” said Sam Alkharrat, president, SAP MENA.

“Mobile banking enables seamless engagement between banks and customers, provides more efficient and new customer-centric features and services, and enhances customer loyalty and rewards programmes,” added Alkharrat.

“With smartphone penetration increasing across the Mena region, we’re helping banks and businesses use technology to unlock the next generation of mobile commerce.”

Banks address a new era in IT

While technology is changing every aspect of banking operations, 77 per cent of participants in the recent survey say the greatest impact will be on customer satisfaction and regulatory compliance. However, many banks have plans to increase their budget for IT to invest in the necessary banking solutions to meet these changing requirements. Indeed, 61 per cent of survey participants expect an increase in their IT budget of at least 25 per cent in the next three years.

Respondents also recognise the opportunity in big data and analytics in banking and placed a much greater emphasis on the overall comprehensiveness of information. The top two priorities in platform features noted included completeness of aggregation (84 per cent) and the availability of real-time information (62 per cent).

According to the study, in order to implement customer-centric banking offerings to deliver better services, institutions will need to enhance their back office support systems to ensure customers experience the same quality standard through traditional or new communication channels.

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