When it comes to American consumers, many may not be ready to admit how dependent they’ve grown on devices and the impact that’s had on the rapid growth of mobile banking and payments.
According to a new survey from Bank of America, released on Tuesday (June 21), less than one in five (17 percent) adults believe they are on their mobile phone too much, while more than half (56 percent) believe other people are guilty of overuse.
A dose of reality when it comes to their own smartphone behaviors may be needed, as just 10 percent consider themselves “tuned out to the world” while on their device, and 55 percent believe they mind their mobile manners.
“This year’s report demonstrates the growing reliance on our mobile devices to navigate daily life and manage our finances, including significant growth in mobile banking and emerging payments,” Michelle Moore, head of digital banking at Bank of America, said in a press release announcing the study’s results.
The findings of the annual study, titled "Bank of America Trends in Consumer Mobility Report," explores the mobile trends and banking behaviors among adult consumers who own a smartphone and have an existing banking relationship at any financial institution.
The data shows there is an ever-growing daily dependence on mobile devices.
In an average day, millennials (39 percent) said they are most likely to interact with their smartphone more than anyone or anything else, including their significant other (27 percent). This mounting reliance is also evident in managing finances: Nearly half (48 percent) of those surveyed are constantly checking their finances via mobile, including account balances and budgets, compared to just 28 percent that report frequently checking health-related items.
“At Bank of America, we want to be where our customers are, which is why we continue to deliver new features, such as cardless ATM technology, that provide increased convenience to our 20 million active mobile users,” Moore continued.
This digital push could have the impact of lopping off as many as 8,000 jobs from the banking consumer unit, media outlets reported earlier this month.
The digitization has meant that there is not as much demand for back-office people or staff functioning as bank tellers; conversely, the firm plans to add more staff as mortgage loan officers and other revenue-generating positions.
Branch visits by customers have been declining, so that, in part, has helped determine where the axe may fall. The consumer division has seen its roster decline by about 40,000 people across the past seven years. The total staffing within that division now stands at more than 68,000.
Online usage and headcount have been on the rise, and users have surpassed 20 million, the company stated.