Since 2011, adoption of digital-banking services has soared across Asia. Consumers are turning to computers, smartphones, and tablets more often to do business with their banks, while visiting branches and calling service lines less frequently. In developed Asian markets, Internet banking is now near universal, and smartphone banking has grown more than threefold since 2011. In emerging Asian markets, the trend is similarly dynamic, with about a quarter of consumers using computers and smartphones for their banking. And despite some structural obstacles, we believe this surge will continue—and incumbents and market entrants alike should prepare for the consequences.

Last year, we surveyed about 16,000 financial consumers in 13 Asian markets and the results showed drastic shifts in behavior compared with a similar survey in 2011. Put simply: Asian financial-services consumers are going digital, and fast. While this rise of digital banking has been anticipated for many years, several factors have combined to accelerate it, most notably the rapid increase in Internet and smartphone adoption and growth in e-commerce. Both have helped demand for digital banking move from early adopters to a broad range of customers.