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Advanced Online Banking Users in Canada Still Hold Off on Mobile

Wide audience for online banking, but mobile lags

Digital banking has long been available to consumers in both the US and Canada. While usage is high in both countries, there are some distinct differences.

In Canada, online banking is used by a significant percentage of internet users. Most strongly prefer using the online channel, although preferences for ATMs and branches persist. As such, mobile banking adoption has not been as aggressive as it has in the US—even with similar mobile internet penetration rates.

Although mobile banking is widely available in Canada, sources estimate that around one-third or less of internet users actually use it. On the high end, ING Direct Canada (now known as Tangerine) found that 33% of internet users were mobile bankers as of September 2013, with Ipsos OTX’s estimate in line. Other projections found around one-quarter or less of respondents to be mobile bankers.

In terms of functionality, current mobile bankers in Canada are primarily using mobile banking to check their account history. However, fund transfer, bill payment and location finders are also common reasons, according to Yahoo Canada’s research.

Several estimates point to strong online banking use, with minor differences based on each survey’s usage scope. September 2013 research by ING found that 86% of internet users were online bankers. Yahoo found that 79% of internet users had used online banking within the six months prior to its Q3 2013 survey. Finally, in a March 2013 survey from Ipsos OTX, 76% of respondents had used online banking within the preceding month.

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