Mobile Commerce

Smartphone Addiction Connects More To Mobile Banking

As more and more consumers stay connected to their smartphones, the same addiction seems to be translating to mobile banking.

A new report from Bank of America indicates that 38 percent of U.S. consumers never take the time to disconnect from their smartphones, with just 7 percent tuning out during vacation. More importantly, as it relates to mobile banking, the stats are even showing that consumers are increasingly connecting to their bank via mobile on a daily basis.

The survey takes into account the results from 1,000 consumers selected as part of a independent market research survey that was conducted by Braun Research on behalf of the Bank of America.

The results from the survey show that 62 percent of consumers are checking a mobile banking app at least a few days a week, and 20 percent of consumers reported checking it once a day or more than once a day. This comes at a time when those smartphone-addicted consumers are plugging into their phones at least several times a day (89 percent).

"We recognize how essential smartphones are to everyday life, and banking is no different,” said Michelle Moore, head of digital banking at Bank of America. “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."

The survey also revealed some key figures as it relates to mobile banking and potential mobile payments adoption. The survey’s results show that 51 percent of the consumers polled say they pick mobile or online banking as their top method. Moreover, only about 23 percent say they conduct transactions at an actual bank. For the millennial population, that figure drops to 6 percent.

Among the other major activities listed by consumers who turn to mobile banking, roughly 81 percent said they receive mobile banking app notifications and alerts: 43 percent for low balance notifications; 41 percent for a deposit notification and 41 percent for unusual activity.

Bank of America’s survey results also indicated that 63 percent use mobile check deposit, which goes up in percentage with the younger populations. Nearly 38 percent are paying bills using mobile banking and 32 percent say they use the app to find the closest branch or ATM. Another interesting statistic shows that 15 percent use the app to manage investments.

As part of the survey results, BoA also provided some stats about its own mobile banking platform, which, according to the company, is growing by roughly 5,000 users per day. In fact, the bank’s first quarter results show that mobile banking customers logged into their accounts 625 million times, which would be about 40 times per user, on average. During Q1, those customers also made roughly 19 million mobile bill payments, and transferred money nearly 5 million times. Mobile check deposit also saw some big numbers as a recorded 200,000 worth of mobile check deposits were made.

What else are consumers using mobile banking for?

  • 74 percent: Check balances/statements
  • 63 percent: View transactions
  • 55 percent: Transfer funds between accounts
  • 38 percent: Pay a bill
  • 32 percent: Locate a branch or ATM
  • 25 percent: Make a payment on a credit card/loan
  • 25 percent: Set up or manage alerts
  • 16 percent: Send money to friends or family
  • 15 percent: Manage investments
  • 14 percent: Order checks

How These Stats Compare Other Surveys

The results of the Bank of America survey, which were released yesterday (June 29), also align with similar surveys in the industry. In fact, an independently-conducted survey just released from Chase shared similar figures.

The survey results for 1,502 U.S. consumers over 18 (not specifically Chase customers), showed that 33 percent more consumers are using their mobile device to access a mobile banking app, compared with a year ago. But online banking is seeing stronger growth too, as that figure is up 35 percent on the year. And, interestingly, 16 percent more consumers have visited a bank.

But it turns out that consumers don’t love mobile banking as much as they love their bank’s online option. The survey figures reveal that 70 percent of consumers still prefer using a bank’s website or online portal, compared to the 47 percent who prefer using the bank’s app on a mobile phone or tablet.What might be a bit surprising is that  78 percent of millennials turn to that digital banking option, as do 75 percent of Generation X consumers and 67 percent of baby boomers.

Chase’s most recent figures show that mobile deposits are up 30 percent, year over year; Chase QuickPay is up 80 percent during the same period and ATM deposits are up 10 percent on the year. Recent investments include Chase’s implementation of mobile TouchID to make mobile banking faster, simpler and more secure. Another request was for the “swipe for balance” option that Chase also recently added to its mobile app.

Overall for Chase, online customer usage is up 8 percent to 37.7 million, and 20 million customers are using its mobile app — a 22 percent increase from 2014’s figures.

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

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