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2018 Digital Banking in the U.S.: From Bricks to Clicks

Mobile banking continues to grow in importance in the U.S.

New Mercator Advisory Group survey finds one-half of U.S. consumers are using their financial institution’s mobile banking app and are satisfied with it.

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Mercator Advisory Group’s most recent Insight Summary Report, 2018 Digital Banking in the U.S.: From Bricks to Clicks, reveals that U.S. customers are highly engaged when it comes to interacting with their financial institution digitally – via computer or mobile device. The report is from the Banking and Channels Survey in the bi-annual CustomerMonitor Survey Series, a part of Mercator’s Primary Data Service. It is based on findings from Mercator Advisory Group’s CustomerMonitor Survey Series online survey of 3,000 U.S. adult consumers in November 2018.

The survey found that although consumers use a number of channels for their digital banking, PCs remain the most preferred. About 6 in 10 respondents report that their PC is their preferred device for interacting with their financial institution.

While only about 1 in 8 consumers (13%) use a conversational agent Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa to interact with their bank, those who do are very satisfied with it (78%). The report, Digital Banking: From Bricks to Clicks, shows that one-half of consumers are using their financial institution’s mobile app for some type of interaction with the FI, and those people are very satisfied with the app as shown below in an excerpt one of the charts summarizing the survey findings.

“Financial institutions can further deepen their relationships with their customers by providing a mobile interface that allows customers to do what they want, when they want. Mobile usage is already high and will only grow and thus become an even more important avenue for building relationships with customers,” states the author of the report, Pete Reville, Director of Primary Data Services at Mercator Advisory Group including the CustomerMonitor Survey Series.

This Insight Summary Report has 38 pages in slide form. 

Highlights of this report include:

  • Consumer adoption of new digital products depends on a balance between trust and benefit. Dealing with financial services and their money raises the trust bar.

  • Smartphone ownership continues to march toward ubiquity. Ownership levels will likely plateau in the near future.

  • People who bank using a mobile device (“mobile bankers”) do not completely shun in-person interaction at their banks.

  • The vast majority of consumers (>80%) are conducting some form of digital banking either via the web or via a mobile application.

  • Consumers use apps and the mobile web to communicate with their banks most often.

  • Although use of conversational agents (Siri, Alexa, etc.) for communication with financial institutions is relatively low, users’ frequency of use and satisfaction are comparable with that of users of other devices or methods.

  • People who use mobile banking express interest in receiving in-branch notifications on their smartphones.