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The allure of digital banking is typically its convenience, and ironically, the less banking customers go into physical branches, the more likely they are to interact with their financial institutions.
A July 2013 survey by Maxymiser surveyed US consumers who owned at least one computer, tablet and smartphone, and found that nearly three-quarters of respondents visited a banking website or mobile site more than five times per month. About seven in 10 respondents to the survey visited physical locations fewer than five times per month.
For financial services providers, the captive attention of their digital audience provides opportunities for customer service touchpoints and loyalty promotions. In fact, more than half of respondents said they were “very likely” or “likely” to click on a financial promotion or offer on their bank’s desktop or mobile site. Only 5% said they would never do so.
Mobile banking in particular is gaining popularity as financial institutions add features to their digital platforms. According to a July 2013 survey from Pew Internet & American Life Project, 35% of respondents banked on their mobile phones, with an equal percentage of both men and women doing so. Demographic groups that overindexed for this behavior included age groups from 18 to 49 (particularly among 18- to 29-year-olds, where more than 50% used mobile banking); minorities, who typically showed a higher penetration of mobile-only internet usage; and affluents, who had a higher penetration of smartphone usage than other income demographics.
Resulting from these consumer trends, financial services providers have dedicated significant resources to digital channels, including mobile. For example, Forrester Research estimated mobile marketing would account for $837 million—or 8.5%—of the financial services industry’s interactive marketing spending in 2013. By 2016, mobile spending is expected to gain share of that overall figure, increasing to $1.61 billion and 10.8% of the total.
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