Study: As smartphone use increases, so does mobile banking

It’s no surprise most consumers these days are attached to their smartphones, but Bank of America’s new report shows some of the reasons behind the obsession.

In examining everyday use, the majority (89 percent) of U.S. adults check their smartphones at least several times a day, and more than one-third (36 percent) report they constantly check their devices, according to the Bank of America Trends in Consumer Mobility Report.

Braun Research Inc. conducted the nationally representative telephone survey on behalf of Bank of America between April 13-26. Braun surveyed 1,000 respondents throughout the U.S., comprised of adults 18-plus with a current banking relationship (checking or savings) and who own a smartphone.

The survey found nearly four in 10 (38 percent) U.S. adult consumers never disconnect from their smartphones, and only 7 percent shut down entirely on vacation.

This growing dependency is also visible in managing finances: of those consumers who use a mobile banking app, nearly two-thirds (62 percent) access it at least a few times a week or more, while one in five (20 percent) check once a day or more.

“We recognize how essential smartphones are to everyday life, and banking is no different,” Michelle Moore, head of digital banking at Bank of America, said in a statement. “Bank of America has more than 17 million active mobile banking users, and this number is growing by more than 5,000 users per day. We are increasingly focused on providing solutions to meet the expectations of our customers, allowing them to do more with their phones and bank with us when, where and how they want.”

While nearly six in 10 (57 percent) respondents have tried mobile banking apps, almost half (48 percent) of all respondents are active mobile banking app users. In further examining current users, prominent activity includes:

  • Approximately four out of five (81 percent) receive mobile banking app notifications and alerts, with low balance (43 percent), deposit made (41 percent) and unusual activity (41 percent) representing the most popular alerts.
  • More than six in 10 (63 percent) are using mobile check deposit. Adoption of this feature is highest among older millennials ages 25–34, as nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of the generation report using the feature. At the same time, the survey showed a notable increase in those ages 50 and older: this year, 52 percent of that group used the feature, compared to 37 percent last year.
  • Nearly four in 10 (38 percent) use their mobile banking app to pay bills; about one-third (32 percent) use the app to locate a branch or ATM; and 15 percent manage investments via the app.
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