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15 October 2012

Survey: millennials drive rising popularity of mobile banking

A new survey by the American Bankers Association shows a sharp rise in the popularity of mobile banking, driven mainly by customers in the 18 to 34-year-old age group. The study also showed a slight decline in the popularity of ATMs.

The survey of 1,000 U.S. adults was conducted August 2-6, 2012, by Ipsos Public Affairs, an independent market research firm. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.

The survey revealed that while the Internet remains the most popular banking method overall, mobile banking is now preferred by six percent of all customers — a 100 percent increase from 2010 — and by 15 percent of 18-34-year-olds, or "millennials." Despite the increase, however, mobile still ranks at the bottom of the list of banking channels.

The second most popular way to bank — visiting a branch — continued its downward trend to 18 percent. The popularity of ATMs was down 3 percent.

"These results show customers are embracing new technologies that make managing a bank account simpler, easier and more convenient but that doesn't mean that the traditional bank branch is going anywhere," said Nessa Feddis, ABA senior counsel. "Branch design may evolve as a result of declining foot traffic. However, we know that nothing replaces human interaction and that's why branches will never disappear."

When asked, "Which method do you use most often to manage your bank account(s)," customers responded as follows:

  • Internet Banking  — 39 percent (36 percent in 2010)
  • Branch — 18 percent (25 percent in 2010)
  • ATM — 12 percent (15 percent in 2010)
  • Mail — 8 percent (8 percent in 2010)
  • Telephone — 9 percent (6 percent in 2010) 
  • Mobile device — 6 percent (3 percent in 2010)

Online banking first became the most preferred banking method in 2009 with 25 percent of customers naming it as their favorite channel. Previously, visiting a branch was most popular, followed by ATMs.


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