Mobile banking in the Benelux - Statistics & Facts

United States author and publisher William Feather once said that "a budget tells us what we cannot afford, but it does not keep us from buying it." One might argue whether this observation still holds true in the Benelux, where most indicate that the use of mobile banking has improved their money management.

Mobile banking involves using a mobile device to carry out financial transactions and has been increasing steadily throughout the years in the Benelux region. In 2016, the Netherlands was the country with the highest response of people who reported to already use mobile banking whilst Belgium is expected to use mobile banking more often in the future. This coincides on the one hand with a relatively high trust in banks and financial institutions. During a survey in 2015, approximately 25 percent of respondents from Luxembourg stated that they totally trust banks and financial institutions with the protection of their personal information. Additionally, Dutch customers judged their trust in their own bank and the banking sector as a whole with an average of 3.5 on a scale from one to five. Indeed, in a survey from December 2016 Luxembourgish consumers indicated that security concerns were not the leading reason to not use mobile banking operations. On the other hand, it was also found that a majority of the Belgian, Luxembourg and Dutch population had access to online banking sites, increasing online banking penetration.

Despite these circumstances, the use of online banking seems more common in the Benelux than the use of other online financial services. In 2015, approximately eight percent of Dutch individuals between 18 and 25 years used an online financial service other than internet banking for personal use. Indeed, it was found in 2015 that more than half of the Belgian respondents used online banking at least more than once a week. In Luxembourg, approximately 47 percent of the respondents between 18 and 44 years old indicated they performed at least one mobile banking operation in the last three months.

In the style of William Feather, one might say that, due to mobile banking, Benelux customers are more aware of their budget. However, because most customers are now able to control their own banking affairs, mobile banking becomes a way for banks in the Benelux region to save costs. Indeed, the total number of bank offices located in the Netherlands has been decreasing in the last few years. One might therefore argue that knowing what cannot be afforded comes at a cost.

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