More than 1.75 billion mobile phone users will have used their devices for banking purposes by the end of 2019, compared with 800 million this year, according to a new study from Juniper Research.

The report, “Mobile & Online Banking: Developed & Developing Market Strategies 2014-2019,” notes that mobile banking technology is now available in most areas of the world, driven by rising consumer demand, especially in the developed regions. The study says emerging countries such as China, India and Bangladesh have seen significant growth in the use of mobile banking technology in the past 12 months.

“The level of maturity in number and innovation of services being offered in the market across several geographical areas, demonstrates that banks now regard the mobile channel as an indispensable revenue-stream,” Nitin Bhas, principal analyst at Juniper Research and author of the report, said in a statement.

“However, with the mobile channel becoming a key customer retention strategy, it presents a great challenge to traditional institutions,” Bhas said.

The scale of this challenge has been shown by the decreasing number of branch visits by consumers and also the closure of physical bank branches over the past 12 to 24 months, Juniper says.

The report also notes that nearly 100 percent of the banks analyzed had some sort of mobile online banking offering, with almost every bank having apps available for at least one smartphone operating system.

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