Consumers Now Prefer Mobile Banking over Branch Banking

June 10, 2015, Written By John H. Oldshue
A man holding smartphone with mobile banking application on a screen. Closeup shot.

The banking system in America has officially reached a turning point. According to a new report from Javelin Strategy & Research, more consumers prefer mobile banking over branch banking. Mobile banking is now the second leading way people access their checking account, second only to online banking.

The study shows that 23% of consumers choose to use their smartphones as a primary access point for their checking accounts, compared to 17% who still prefer to visit the branch. 39% of those surveyed prefer online banking.

The report, titled The Rise of the Mobile First Consumer–and What that Means for Banking, discusses how mobile banking has transformed the way people monitor and control their finances. It describes the rising generation of “mobile-first” consumers, or those who choose to use their phones before visiting a branch or logging in to their checking account.

The research indicates mobile first consumers are more likely to work with large, national banks, and are more willing to switch banks within the next 12 months. They are also sensitive to fees that may cause them to pay extra for using their accounts.

In order to take advantage of the shift to “mobile-first” consumers, Javelin encouraged banks to innovate their apps and mobile banking systems.

“Currently, mobile bankers are not able finish transactions on mobile devices and are purposefully shifted to online or branch channels for completion, causing frustration,” said Mary Monahan, Executive Vice President and Research Director at Javelin Strategy & Research. “Financial institutions should aim to create a unified view of the customer and offer a more seamless, easily navigated banking experience, to appeal to the broader user community.”

Javelin’s report focuses heavily on the behaviors and preferences of mobile first consumers, representing a population of nearly 56 million people. Their analysis was pulled from three online surveys, covering banking customers from credit unions as well as large and small banks.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of June 10, 2015. For up-to-date
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