Pandemic has changed the way Brazilians use banking technology

Mobile transactions top 50% of operations, Febraban study shows

Published in 25/06/2021 - 14:17 By Ludmilla Souza - São Paulo

The use of everyday technology in banking transactions in Brazil became more frequent over the course of 2020—even among those not inclined to trust mobile banking.

Boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the social distancing measures introduced in March last year, cellphone use has become Brazilians’ favorite way of paying bills, send money, and get credit, among other banking operations.

Last year, for the first time, transactions carried out through mobile banking accounted for more than half (51%) of all operations completed in the country, according to a study entitled Febraban Survey on Banking Technology 2021 (on 2020), published yesterday (Jun. 24) during a congress organized by the Brazilian Banks Federation (Febreban).

The number of transactions made via cellphone reached 52.9 billion, compared to 37 billion in the previous year. Across all banking channels (mobile, internet, payment terminals, physical bank facilities, ATMs, banking correspondents, and contact centers), the total number of operations carried out by clients reached 103.5 billion, up 20 percent—the highest in the last few years surveyed by the study.

Combines, digital channels (internet and mobile banking) add up to 67 percent of all transactions (68.7 billion), and account for eight of every ten bill payed, and nine of every ten credit acquisitions. Of the 21 banks surveyed, eight replied that 7.7 million accounts have been opened through digital means, up 90 percent from 2019.

The study also found that during the pandemic, bank continued to increase their costs on banking technology, which totaled $5.2 billion last year, an increase of eight percent from 2018. It also revealed that ten percent of the budget earmarked for IT is aimed at cyber-security.

“The results of our research once again show massive investment from the banking industry in technology, usability, and the offer of new services in a highly challenging year, amid the biggest health crisis and with severe economic consequences across the world. We continue with a state-of-the-art, innovative, modern, safe, and accessible, which has allowed our clients to stay at home and not leave the house even to pay bills, check finances, and make business,” said Febraban President Isaac Sidney.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Valéria Aguiar / Denise Griesinger

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