25 percent of consumers favor smartphone banking, study finds

 In News

Nearly one third (30 percent) of U.S. adults would feel comfortable using a voice-activated conversational interface (e.g., Siri from Apple or Alexa from Amazon) to pay a bill or transact other banking business if their financial institution were to provide the service.

Young adults and high-income earners are especially interested in using such an interface; roughly half of them would feel comfortable doing so, according to results from the banking and channels portion of the annual CustomerMonitor Survey series by Mercator Advisory Group.

The Mercator report, Digital Banking: Shift to Smartphones May Require New Support, reveals that consumers are performing more banking activities online and by mobile — especially by smartphone — and 1 in 4 prefer to use a smartphone for bank transactions.

The fastest growth in digital banking is in mobile banking, which consumers use both to communicate with their financial institution and to perform banking activities.

The percentage of U.S. consumers who perform banking activities by smartphone or tablet rose from 58 percent in 2014 to 60 percent in 2015 to 65 percent in 2016.

The percentage using mobile for bank transactions — e.g., paying bills from an FI’s website, transferring funds to another person’s account, depositing checks — has risen to 45 percent of U.S. adults, up from 41 percent in 2015 and 36 percent in 2014.

Young adults drive this shift and are nearly twice as likely as the average consumer to prefer a smartphone for bank transactions. They are less likely than in previous years to prefer using a computer for transactions; a preference for tablets, which is shared by few young adults, showed little change.

“Consumers increasingly prefer using their smartphones to interact with their financial institutions, manage their accounts, make just-in-time transactions at their convenience, but more complex tasks that they would like to perform often require more support such as conversational interfaces,” Karen Augustine, author of the report and senior manager of primary data services at Mercator, said in a press release.

Findings in the report are based on responses to a Mercator online survey of 3,000 U.S. adults with banking relationships, which was conducted in November 2016.

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