UAE Ranks as Top 3 in World in Mobile Banking Adoption

Global Banking Sector Increases IT Spend to Meet Customer and Regulatory Demands, with 65% Saying Mobile is Most Important Tech Trend: SAP Study

DUBAI, United Arab EmiratesThe 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 United Arab Emirates, 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 percent) said mobile is the most important trend for the future, followed by in-memory computing (48 percent) and cloud (47 percent).

“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 programs,” 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.”

“The Benefits of Innovative Information Technology in the Banking Industry” was conducted by the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, New York University’s Stern School of Business and Management, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts North-Western Switzerland, the Business Transformation Academy (Basel, Switzerland) and SAP SE (NYSE: SAP). The study included extensive desk research, in-depth interviews with C-level representatives from banks and regulatory authorities, and a quantitative survey.

Banks Address a New Era in Information Technology

While technology is changing every aspect of banking operations, 77 percent 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 percent of survey participants expect an increase in their IT budget of at least 25 percent in the next three years.

Respondents also recognize 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 percent) and the availability of real-time information (62 percent).

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.

By synchronizing traditional and new banking channels, successful banks can retrieve all existing relevant information at every customer touch point. Banks will be forced to deliver better online services, including offering online chat in place of telephone services. They will also need to address data security and privacy issues in a competent and diligent manner to maintain trust amongst their customer base.

Note to the Editor:
An executive summary of the study is available for download here.

The study was executed through three pillars, including extensive desk research, followed by 20 in-depth interviews of C-level managers at various global banks, regulators, auditors and consultancies from the U.S., Europe and Africa, and an online survey of more than 1,500 members of the alumni network of Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. The interviewees were restricted to the top to upper management of the respective institution or the specialized division, such as risk management, front office or information technology.

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