IFAB Releases 2018 Report on China’s Mobile Banking Sector


A new report on China’s mobile banking sector shows that user demographics are concentrated amongst the country’s Gen Y and Gen X netizens.

The 2018 China Mobile Banking User Survey Report (2018中国移动银行用户调研报告) recently released by the Internet Finance Association of Small and Medium-sized Banks in conjunction with Dataway (零点有数科技) issued over 10,000 surveys covering 138 banks and more than 180 fintech apps.

The Report found that China’s mobile banking consumers are concentrated within the 26 – 40 year age bracket, accounting for 76.1% of all users.

The average household income of mobile banking users is 206,000 yuan, as compared to a national average annual household income of 154,000 yuan according to data from the China Household Finance Survey (中国家庭金融调查).

77.9% of China’s mobile banking users have incomes of between 100,000 and 300,000.

The Report draws a distinction between mobile phone banking and direct banking, with the later lagging far behind the former.

According to the Report 81.1% of Chinese mobile banking users have never made use of direct banking, while 24.0% had never heard of direct banking at all.

69.8% of members of the public had downloaded a mobile banking app, of which 65.3% had downloaded a mobile phone banking app, while only 24.9% had downloaded a direct banking app.

62.1% of consumers who have downloaded a mobile banking app have made use of mobile banking within the past three months, of which 66.4% have made use of a mobile phone banking app and just 30.7% direct banking.

The Report found that users of direct banks tend to be far younger and enjoy higher incomes and professional qualifications than mobile phone banking users.

64.2% of survey respondents believe that mobile phone banking and direct banking should have differentiated positioning, with consumers preferring to use mobile phone banking for account transfers and inquiries, and direct banks for daily payments or payments of tuition fees, as well as loans, wealth management and travel.

While WeChat has emerged as China’s dominant social media platform, WeChat-based banking has only drawn the attention of 20.2% of users, likely due to lack of adequate connections between WeChat banks and mobile banking apps.

68.6% of China’s mobile banking users had used mobile banking apps for consumer purchases, 66.9% for account transfers, 64.2% for living expenditures, and 46.9% for investment or wealth management purposes.

When citing reasons for downloading mobile banking apps, 31.4% of Chinese mobile banking users pointed to the purchase of wealth management products, 31.2% to wanting to better understand returns on financial products, and 29.0% because of recommendations from sales staff.