IT and telecommunications convergence along with an increase in active mobile device users could drive the growth of financial mobile applications. However, the lack of standards, along with uncertainty over which business model will prevail, are holding back m-payment adoption across Brazil, said IT leaders of the biggest Brazilian banks during last week’s Ciab—a conference and exposition focused on IT for financial institutions— held in São Paulo.
“As it becomes easier to acquire PCs, smartphones and tablets, adoption of Internet banking is rising,” said Aurélio Conrado Boni, vice president for IT at Bradesco, Brazil’s second-largest bank.
During a panel discussion about IT trends for banks, CIOs said that m-payment should be focused on small financial transactions, which will help people without bank accounts make payments. It might also be the first step toward adding new customers to banks’ client base.
However, CIOs pointed out that the lack of mobile standards is a major challenge for the industry, since they spend a lot of money and time to build solutions for current mobile operating systems, but which are easily replaced with new models. “Each year vendors launch new devices using different types of systems and browsing, which is a huge challenge for us,” said Luis Antonio Rodrigues, Febraban’s VP and an Itaú Unibanco director. “There is a failure to discuss the convergence and standardization of smartphones to have greater usage.”
Marcelo Zerbinatti, executive director at Santander Brasil, added that mobile devices push the transformation of user experience, and it is a challenge from a technology perspective.
“I believe in this trend because people want to be comfortable banking,” commented Joaquim Lima de Oliveira, IT vice president at state-owned bank Caixa Ecônomica Federal.