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CFOs are waking up to the benefits of mobile banking

Press Release: May 28, 2015

**HSBC corporate customers make USD50 billion in mobile payments**

Chief Financial Officers and Treasurers are increasingly willing to go mobile in their professional lives, discarding decades-old methods of transferring funds such as banker’s drafts and cheques in favour of payments executed on smartphones and tablets. Corporate customers have used HSBC’s mobile corporate banking platform, HSBCnet Mobile, to make a staggering USD50 billion in payments.

Since the launch of the first mobile banking app, banks have primarily invested in mobile innovations focused on retail banking customers. The process of checking a balance or transferring cash has become increasingly intuitive - in some instances, another person’s mobile number is all that is needed to make a payment.

While consumers in many countries have become proficient in buying a coffee or sending money to a friend using a mobile device, business-to-business (B2B) adoption has been slower to take off. Globally, 12% of HSBCnet customers are active HSBCnet Mobile users. In comparison, 34%* of UK adults are estimated to use mobile banking, showing the huge potential for growth in corporate adoption.

Nadya Hijazi, Global Head PCM E-Commerce said, “The world is on the brink of a new era in mobile payments which will revolutionise the way businesses operate. Since the launch of the HSBCnet Mobile app we’ve seen a marked increase in the use of smartphones and tablets by our corporate customers. At the current rate of growth, we expect to reach USD100bn in the next 18 months.”

Innovation in consumer technologies and personal banking is increasingly driving change in professional behaviour. Beyond the convenience of being able to check account balances, authorise payments and receive payment alerts on the go, mobile banking has the potential to introduce entirely new ways of doing business and generate vast quantities of valuable information about a company’s operations that were previously unattainable.

Diane S. Reyes, Group General Manager and Global Head of Payments and Cash Management, HSBC commented, “Mobile payments can improve the financial health of a business. Being paid faster improves a company’s liquidity and cash-flow by extending their ability to pay their own creditors faster. Improving cash-flow enables opportunities to improve credit ratings, improve credit terms and elevate a company’s reputation, all of which enable growth.”

“Digitising payments also enhances visibility over the workings of a business. More comprehensive, accurate payments information can be captured and retained. Finance Directors can, at a glance, better gauge the financial position of their subsidiaries, trading partners and contractors, enabling them to make more informed buying or credit decisions.”

Mobile B2B payments could have a particularly big impact on doing business internationally. Many find transacting with overseas buyers or suppliers challenging or simply too hard. Processing payments in foreign markets can be problematic. Posting a cheque, for example, is inefficient. Mobile-to-Mobile payment between the two parties removes several unnecessary steps.

In emerging economies, entire markets are leaping from cash and coins to mobile payments. The State of the Industry 2014 report by the mobile networks association, GSMA, reveals there are 3.6 billion unique mobile subscribers worldwide and 103 million active mobile money accounts.

Diane added, “In the mobile world, if you are a creative player and you can adapt quickly you will thrive, gaining at the expense of rivals who are slower to embrace mobile. Mobile for business is both an enabler and a powerful force for change.”

* Future Trends in UK Banking, CEBR/Fiserv, April 2015

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