While use of internet banking is relatively low in the region, HSBC sees a rising trend in adoption of technology in the UAE which is expected to grow further, Francesca McDonagh, Regional Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Mena, HSBC, told Gulf News in an interview.
Francesca added that the UAE government’s recent initiative of mGovernment will enhance the technology usage across the emirates.
“The launch of ‘Mobile Government’ (mGovernment) initiative by the UAE last week is a positive move that will speed the adoption of this channel by public and private sectors. And this is good news for consumers who will experience the benefits of greater convenience and ease of access.”
“HSBC customers have already shown how much they want this channel — internet banking logons in the UAE to HSBC accounts via mobile devices increased by over 500 per cent in 2012 since it was first launched in 201.”
When launched in November 2011, HSBC’s Mobile Banking solution received an outstanding vote of confidence from its customers as the app achieved a ranking of number one in the Finance category, on the UAE Apple app store, within 48 hours of launch. Moreover, she added that this transformation will give further impetus to the trend towards m-commerce in the UAE.
Justin Doo, Security Practice Director of Middle East and French- speaking Africa of Symantec, said that while mobility is a huge player but security concerns should be addressed clearly.
He said that the main reason behind the scant usage of online banking in the UAE compared to other countries around the world is that fear of safety and fraud linked to online services.
Doo said that cyber security is a growing concern — the number of victims in the UAE has reached 1.5 million in 2012, according a recent report.
Based on a research on Personal Internet Banking (PIB) developed by HSBC recently on Mena customers highlighting what are the key factors holding people back from exploring the full potential of online banking, Francesca said: “The research results showed that a third of HSBC customers in the GCC are using internet banking while only half of them are active.”
The study of HSBC PIB non-registered customers revealed the importance for the bankC to raise awareness about the benefits of online banking.
Only 9 per cent of HSBC PIB non-registered customers in the UAE are using internet banking, whereas a whopping 91 per cent do not use these services.
On the other hand, the study showed that 44 per cent of HSBC PIB registered customers in UAE prefer Internet Banking as “it can be used anytime” and 65 per cent HSBC PIB registered customers in the UAE have a particularly high preference for internet banking.