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Money Management Gets Way More Mobile

Eight in 10 banking customers say mobile banking is important

March 12, 2015

Mobile phone banking is set to reach several milestones in the coming years as the number of consumers who take to the convenient mode of banking continues to rise. For the first time in 2016, eMarketer expects the majority (51.2%) of adult mobile phone users in the US to use mobile banking, up from 47.2% this year. Even more, half of the adult population will be mobile phone bankers by 2017, vs. 43.0% in 2015.

Primary Attitude Toward Mobile Banking According to Banking Customers in North America, 2010, 2012 & 2014 (% of respondents)

Indeed, Q4 2014 research by ath Power Consulting found that mobile banking was becoming imperative. Among banking customers polled in North America, nearly eight in 10 said mobile banking was important to some extent. Three in 10 said this was a must-have, up 6 percentage points from 2012, and over one-quarter said it was ideal, vs. one-fifth two years prior. Results also highlighted a huge transformation in consumer attitudes, as half of respondents in 2010 didn’t think mobile banking was important, vs. just 22% in the most recent study.

Mobile banking ranked as the third most-used bank feature among respondents, at 45%. While promising, it still had a long way to go before catching No. 1 online banking (91%) and second-place online bill pay (63%).

Banks looking to drive usage of their mobile apps—or those working on developing one—should take note of the most popular activities among users polled by Market Force Information in September 2014. US internet users who had downloaded their national retail bank’s mobile app ranked simpler banking activities highest, including checking account balances (84%) and statement or payment history (62%). Transferring and depositing money were also leading activities, both cited by a plurality of respondents.

Devices that US Internet Users Currently Use vs. Plan to Use for Banking, 2014 & 2016 (% of respondents)

Consumers planned to shift more banking activity to mobile in the coming years, according to September 2014 research by Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group. While the laptop would remain the most-used banking device for US internet users between 2014 and 2016, the percentage who intended to use it fell slightly. Meanwhile, the percentages of respondents who intended to use smartphones and tablets rose 10 percentage points or more between 2014 and 2016, and even phablets were expected to see gains.

Clearly, consumers now care about mobile banking, which means banks need to care about it just as much.

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