Mobile apps in Romania

This Monday, Questia Group focuses on the topic of mobile apps, in terms of usage and tendencies. Our research was made through an online survey on our platform www.questia.ro covering 1,342 respondents, with a plus or minus 3% margin of error. The survey was active between the 7th and the 9th of February 2017. Our findings are presented below.

Regarding the broadband and digital services infrastructure, Romania has two strategies: National Strategy for Romanian Digital Agenda 2020 (HG 245/2015) and the National Plan for NGN infrastructure development (G 414/2015). Both the strategy and the national plan aimed at achieving 100% households with fixed broadband coverage by 2020, 80% households with over 30 Mbps broadband coverage and 45% households being connected with subscriptions over 100 Mbps. Moreover, special regards are given to rural and disadvantaged areas, to stimulating competition and promoting the development of mobile broadband. Other key objectives are:

  • connecting public institutions (public demand aggregation),
  • increased use in public,
  • supporting SMEs in training,
  • configuring and implementing infrastructure projects and services,
  • increasing accessibility of services, content and applications development,
  • consumer’s education and
  • the inclusion of disadvantaged groups of users. More can be found here here.

In 2015 broadband coverage at the EU-28 average was 97.4%, while Romania, Estonia, Slovakia and Poland scored below 90% ( EU Commission, 2016, Broadband Coverage in Europe 2015). See more information on connectivity, e-communication or mobile broadband prices in Europe here.

According to another report, Romania’s mobile communications market is served by mobile network operators utilizing a mixture of GSM, 3G and 4G technologies. Penetration rates are high as a result of multiple SIM-card ownership, while mobile broadband growth has been strong following network investments which have extended the reach of long-term evolution services.

Overall, it seems that more people are subscribing to broadband networks in Romania, due to their good quality, yet there are still low levels of digital skills and trust that hinder the development of the digital economy in Romania.

Findings

Our study shows that out of the total sample size, 93.6% have fixed/wifi connection in their household, 79% use mobile data and only 1.5% say that they have none.

Internet and mobile data

Asked if they used an app to pay in restaurants, shops, cafes or gas stations, only 26% said they did, while the majority (74%) have never used such an app.

App usage

Out of those who never used such an app, 47.8% say that if they had the option, they would probably use such an app, 20.3% said they would very likely use the app, while only 20.3% will probably not use the app and 11.7% would very likely not use the app.

This shows that a Romanian cashless society is much more a discussion topic and less a reality. However, Romania may continue to catch up fast: the ING International Survey on Mobile Banking in 2016 shows that Romanians agreed that they are using physical cash much less in 2016 than in 2015. However, the same study highlights that Romanians and Italians have the smallest shares of users who say they trust mobile payment apps. See our insights regarding online shopping behavior in our study here, as well as the discussion on online banking and the idea of a cashless society here.

Probability of app usage

As for the respondents who have used the mobile app to pay in shops, restaurants and other places, 31.6% have used such an app less than two weeks ago, 17.4% have used it 2-3 days prior to our survey, 15% two weeks ago and 17.4% one day or two days before our survey.

App usage

As already mentioned last year, we expect numerous changes in the field of e-banking, coming both from banks and from clients’ demands, considering that Romania has made substantial improvements in mobile-broadband penetration, as well as internet access and use. Stay connected to Questia Group and find out more insights on a diversity of subjects.