Mobile Commerce

Mobile Deposit Usage Rises But Frequency Wanes

A new study from the American Banking Association (ABA) found one in seven Americans deposited a check using a mobile device over the last year, but the rate of how often mobile deposits took place slipped.

A new study from the American Banking Association (ABA) found one in seven Americans deposited a check using a mobile device within the last year, but the rate of how often mobile deposits took place slipped.

“Mobile deposit continues to attract more consumers because this bank service is incredibly convenient,” Nessa Feddis, ABA’s SVP and deputy chief counsel for consumer protection and payments, said in a press release highlighting the study’s results Tuesday (Aug. 25). “In the short time it takes to post an Instagram, you’ve deposited your check.”

While the ease of mobile banking may contribute to an increased use of the mobile deposit feature, ABA’s survey showed only 54 percent of consumers who used mobile deposit did so more than once a month, dropping significantly from 80 percent in 2014.

Only 27 percent of those who made mobile deposits did so once a month — compared to 46 percent last year — while the percentage of twice-a-month mobile depositors decreased from 23 percent to 12 percent. Not surprisingly, the number of respondents who reported using mobile deposit less than once a month increased from 19 percent in 2014 to 45 percent, according to this year’s research.

Feddis noted that this drastic change in numbers from 2014 to 2015 most likely has to do with a drop in overall check usage rather than the mobile deposit service itself.

“People are receiving checks less frequently, but when they do they’re increasingly turning to mobile banking to deposit them,” Feddis explained. “Mobile has become a bigger part of how people interact with their bank, and we expect banks to continue to expand and enhance customer services available through mobile devices.”

The ABA’s survey of 1,000 U.S. adults is conducted each year by an independent market research firm called Ipsos Public Affairs.

The survey results speak to the growing popularity of mobile banking options, which goes hand in hand with the proliferation of smartphones and mobile devices.

More bank branches in the U.S. closed in 2014 than any of the last several years – 1,407 to be precise — and more closures are on the horizon, MPD CEO Karen Webster explained last week. As a matter of fact, only three new U.S. banks have opened in between 2010 and 2014 — and one doesn’t need to look far to figure out why. Nearly a third of consumers report never having stepped foot in a bank branch in the last six months, and 58 percent of those under 30 hadn’t been in the last 30 days.

Webster pointed out that online and mobile channels are now the preferred methods in which consumers want to engage with their banks. Mobile engagement is up 52 percent from just a few years ago, according to the Fed’s study on mobile financial services. Almost as many consumers used online banking as ATMs last year, and more consumers used mobile banking than telephone call centers that year, too.

To check out what else is HOT in the world of payments, click here.

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