AMSTERDAM: The ever-upwards trend of smartphone user penetration in Europe is also being reflected in the way consumers, especially younger users, are adopting new technology for their financial transactions, a new report has revealed.

A study of almost 12,000 consumers in 12 European countries by ING International, the Dutch financial services group, found 37% of internet-users are already using mobile banking.

The "Financial Empowerment in the Digital Age" report, conducted by Ipsos in May 2013, revealed half of the respondents aged 25 to 34 used mobile banking and an average 33% of all respondents said they expected banks to make it possible to do payments via social media.

Turkey emerged as the country with the highest number of internet users engaged in mobile banking. At 49%, it was significantly above the European average.

Spain and the Netherlands were next, at 44% each, followed by Poland and Luxembourg, both at 41%, and Austria at 40%.

Larger countries, however, recorded rates below the European average. The UK was ranked eighth at 35% while Germany had 33% and France only 25%.

This might be explained by some respondents misinterpreting the definition of mobile banking because ING did not specify the question in its survey. Alternatively, concerns about security remained a major issue for most internet users and this was especially the case in Germany and France.

The value of mobile payment transactions in Western Europe is forecast to grow to more than 50% to $29bn in 2013, according to technology analysts Gartner, while eMarketer estimates smartphone penetration in the region will reach 47.4% this year, rising to 77.1% in 2017.

By 2017, Norway is expected to have 97.6% smartphone usage while the rate will be lower in Germany and Italy – at 80% and 68% respectively.

The results of the ING survey therefore suggest that, while there is a rising trend across the region for mobile banking via smartphones, consumers in individual countries will adopt these options at their own pace and at different rates.

Data sourced from eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff