Mercator Blog

Consumers Need More Support for Mobile Banking
Date: March 5, 2017
Research Team
Smartphone or tablet ownership is maturing, reaching near saturation among U.S. consumers, particularly young adults and high-income earners. Consumers seeking to simplify their lives increasingly rely on their mobile devices to better manage their finances, wherever they may be. As consumers embrace digital and mobile channels to manage their finances, many are reaching beyond banks and credit unions to nontraditional providers that offer compelling experiences such as person-to-person (P2P) money transfer, personal financial management (PFM) tools, and bill payment (bill-pay) to support busy life-styles, using multiple platforms for their convenience. Many use multiple channels sequentially to complete a financial transaction when they have the time, starting in one channel and continuing or finishing in another. Financial institutions can no longer overlook the importance of improving their digital and mobile offerings to retain customers.

Mobile banking provides a lower-cost, convenient way to enhance the customer experience by making banking activities available to customers anytime and anywhere and connecting with them to keep them engaged. Mobile banking users engage more frequently with their financial institutions, not only using their mobile devices but also likely to use a wider variety of channels, even the branch. Mobile banking users, particularly app users, have a growing preference for the mobile app over teller use. Indeed, much of the growth in online banking is for transactions that can ultimately replace much of the teller activities.

As familiarity with online shopping continues to raise their expectations of convenience, more customers expect to be able to bank anywhere at any time and want more mobile features to be easier to use. New ways of supporting this channel can improve the success of this channel. This year’s CustomerMonitor survey data confirms consumers’ continuing shift toward mobile banking platforms, especially by smartphone as online and mobile channels continue to converge.

Learn more in the report, Digital Banking: Shift to Smartphones May Require New Support, focuses on the use and interest in online and mobile banking by activity and platform including person-to-person money transfers, and electronic bill payment (bill-pay) in the United States. This study identifies the demographics of mobile and online banking customers, adoption trends, challenges to adoption, and consumer confidence in mobile banking’s security and reliability. The report also discusses the ways in which consumers communicate with their financial institutions, the types of banking activities performed online and by mobile, consumers’ use of online account opening and satisfaction with the online account opening process, and their use and degree of comfort with using voice-activated conversational interfaces. The findings highlight ways in which financial institutions can enhance the customer experience with online banking and P2P payments and mobile account opening. The findings also highlight some frustrations consumers have with current modalities.