Romania and Serbia are the first CEE markets in which digital banking usage is more likely to take place solely via mobile than exclusively on a PC or Mac, according to a Erste Bank Group report.
However, even in these countries, the largest single segment is likely to use both their mobile and their PC/Mac for digital banking.
“On average, six out ten CEE banking customers make regular use of digital banking channels, with Serbia and Croatia being exceptions on the low end and the Czech Republic a standout on the high end. While year-on-year growth rates for overall digital channel usage are rather modest, they do show a steady uptrend,” the report indicates.
That uptick is being driven by strong gains in mobile banking usage, particularly in south-eastern Europe, where many banking customers rely solely on their mobile phones to handle their digital banking needs.
Almost one in three Serbians and nearly a quarter of Romanians who used digital banking channels in the past six months did so only on mobile.
In contrast, the “pure mobile” segment accounts for only 5-10 percent of digital channel users in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Austria, according to the report.
“People using both branches and digital channels represent the largest single segment of banking customers in five of the seven countries covered by the survey. This behaviour is particularly widespread in Austria and the Czech Republic: six out of ten of the survey respondents in these two markets made use of both branches (excluding the use of ATMs at the branch) and digital services of their main bank during the previous six months,” the report points out.
Over half of the respondents in Romania and around four out of ten in Hungary and Slovakia also prefer this approach.
Even in the only two markets (Serbia and Croatia) where the “branch only” customers remain the largest segment, “digital and branch” approach is the fastest-growing method of handling banking needs, according to Erste report.