Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Consumers 'addicted' to mobile banking, report says

Smart phone screen sizes that keep on growing are among the factors driving Americans to do more of their banking on mobile devices, according to a report released Tuesday.

Americans are "addicted" to mobile banking, which is "hyper accelerating," says the report by Charlotte-based Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group, a firm that serves the financial services industry.

The report says bigger smart phones and the emergence of the so-called "phablet"  a smart phone that's not quite as big as a tablet device  are helping to boost the adoption of mobile banking.

According to the report, 46 percent of U.S. consumers are more likely to do their banking on mobile devices thanks to those devices getting larger. Also, one in six consumers surveyed said mobile banking is an important reason to buy a large-screen smart phone or a phablet.

Another key finding in the report: 55 percent of consumers are accessing their mobile accounts two to three times a week or more.

Byl Cameron
The report underscores the ongoing adoption of mobile banking, a trend that has banks re-examining the role of branches. Some banks, such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo, have begun experimenting with smaller branches at a time when consumers are able to do more transactions on their own with the swipe of a finger on their smart phone or other mobile device.

"Mobile is utterly changing the landscape of how people do banking," Byl Cameron, who led the study, told me Monday, as he gave me a sneak peek at the report. He said mobile banking is the "technology story of the day for banks.”

The report's findings are based on online surveys of 1,005 consumers across the U.S. and phone interviews of executives with the 20 largest U.S. financial institutions. The surveys and interviews were conducted in September.

The study, funded by Carlisle & Gallagher, is the firm's first ever on mobile banking.

Here are some highlights from the report:
  •  Depositing checks with mobile devices is gaining popularity, with more than 60 percent of phablet and smart phone users depositing checks remotely.
  • Customers prefer to conduct mobile banking on all of their mobile devices. Those who have what the report calls a "three-device lifestyle" said they interchangeably use their laptops, tablets and smart phones for the most frequent mobile banking activities.
  • Checking balances, transferring funds and paying bills are the three most-frequently conducted mobile banking activities on mobile devices.
  • All of the survey's respondents said they expect to buy more mobile devices by 2016. Specifically for banking, 81 percent expect to use a laptop in 2016, 62 percent a smart phone, 44 percent a tablet and 11 percent a phablet.
  • Phablets will dominate approximately 30 percent of the mobile device market share by 2020 and become the dominant device for mobile banking, Carlisle & Gallagher predicts. It also predicts that tablets will decline in popularity, especially as a device on which to do banking. The report found that 68 percent of consumers do not use tablets today for banking. 
Below are more findings, in charts and graphs, from the report (click on them for a larger version):


James Edgar said...

Phablet - OK, that's a new one for me. I own one, but never heard the term.

I'm definitely one of the people the survey was talking about. I do all my banking on my laptop and phone - er, uh, phablet. I can count the number of checks I've written in the past year on my hands. Mobile banking is so easy and convenient. Doing everything with a checkbook and bank branch, that's hard to remember now.

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