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Sponsored data works: How a bank more than doubled its mobile banking transactions

By September 2, 2015 No Comments

Take the example of one of Brazil’s largest banks, Banco Bradesco. Despite having a mobile banking app, Bradesco saw that many customers had ceased using the app and were reverting to traditional transactions through branch visits and customer service calls, which any banker will tell you incurs high operational costs for the enterprise.

After carrying out targeted research, Bradesco found that this downturn in uptake was due to the fact that many customers couldn’t afford mobile data plans. Somewhat surprising as Brazil boasts a stong infrastructural ecosystem with 92.4% of the population covered by 3G and 1.4 mobile lines per capita. Even more compelling for Bradesco, 32% of the country remained unbanked due to the absence of accessible financial services in the remote territories of Brazil.

In order to enable more of their customers to leverage mobile banking and to expand their reach to the remote regions of the domestic market, Bradesco bought up wholesale data and held successful negotiations with the four largest mobile operators in Brazil (holding 98% domestic market share) in order to zero-rate the use of the Bradesco mobile banking service, making it free for Bradesco clients to avail of.

As for the results. The Acesso Gratis Bradesco Celular campaign has seen the number of Bradesco mobile banking users increase from 3 million in January 2014 to 7 million in May 2015, representing 29% of the bank’s total transactions.  Bradesco estimates that 35% of all banking transactions will be on mobile phones by the end of 2015, rising to 40% in 2016.

In 2010, Diebold and Bain banking OpEx figures put a mobile transaction at $0.08 while an in-branch transaction cost the bank $4.25 to facilitate.

A saving of $4.17 per transaction, in any language, is a significant win and demonstrates the benefits of sponsored data and the type of value adds that operators can deliver to their enterprise customers by enabling free data access to their end users.

The potential for sponsored data across verticals is substantial, unlocking new revenue through diversified services, reduced OpEx and an increased customer reach. An easy win.