More Americans Turn to Mobile Banking
Significantly more Americans are turning to mobile and online banking, according to a recent study from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
The FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households found that, from 2013 to 2015, the percentage of Americans using online banking rose from 55% to 60%, and mobile banking use grew at an even faster rate, rising from 23% to 32%. The FDIC concluded that Americans, particularly the underbanked, appreciate the greater control and convenience offered by mobile and online banking.
The FDIC found nearly 20% of households were identified as underbanked, which they defined as households that “had an account at an insured institution but also obtained financial services and products outside of the banking system.” These underbanked households were more likely to use their mobile devices as their primary method of managing their accounts, because they saw significant benefits with these products, including reminders and balance alerts that helped them stay on top of their finances.
Because of the successes reported by underbanked households, the FDIC determined that mobile financial services can help consumers take control of their finances, and they believe these services can address some of the underlying issues that lead to consumers becoming “unbanked,” which means no one in a household has a checking or savings account. Many consumers become unbanked because they want to avoid unexpected fees and worry about low balances. More than 15 million U.S. adults are unbanked, which represents 7% of American households.
The report found prepaid card use is also growing in the United States. From 2013 to 2015, Americans who reported using prepaid cards in the previous 12 months grew from 7.9% to 9.8%. While unbanked households are generally more apt to use these cards, growth was seen across nearly all demographic and socioeconomic groups.