Brazilian banks must go mobile

Last updated: 24 March 2015

Brazil puts the B in BRIC, and despite its recent economic dip, presents a rapidly growing opportunity for those organizations looking to grow through international expansion – including banks.

Both those considering the move and others who already have a presence need to be looking to the future and developing their offering for the aging youth, Generation M. Essentially this means going mobile, but why?

  1. Almost everyone has a phone – Gartner estimated that in 2010 there were a total of 200 million mobile phones in Brazil, which almost equals almost one per person. This trend is likely to be maintained throughout the next several years, according to Business Monitor International (BMI) projections.
  2. Generation M is glued to their phones Our own research revealed that 89% of 16-24 years own a smartphone and that they use them more than any other country, with almost half (45.9%) using them for more than five hours a day.
  3. Mobiles reach out to those in rural areas – Latin America has long been seen as a market ripe for the development of mobile money and Brazil has been touted as a particular sweet spot. Much like Africa, an estimated 60% of the country remains unbanked because it’s spread across rural and incredibly poor areas. Given most of these people have a mobile, the opportunities for those utilizing this channel are huge. NetOne and MTN Group have used it successfully across Africa.
  4. It is cost-effective – Naturally it’s far cheaper to manage interactions online than through branches or call centers. Sending a text message is universally cheaper than sending a physical letter.

While some banks in Brazil do already have basic mobile capabilities, there is definitely still work to be done. Our research shows that 84% of young people were concerned about the security of their mobile banking services, more than the other countries in the survey and almost half (45.9%) said they’d switch banks if an app was hard to use. Those who accelerate their plans and develop innovative strategies to quell these fears could shape the mobile landscape to their advantage.

You can read more about youth attitudes to online and mobile banking services in our Generation mBanking report