Bank customers are conducting their banking via mobile apps more often than any other method, according to a new survey conducted by the American Bankers Association (ABA)
The survey which sampled 2,201 adults found bank customers preferred mobile apps both prior to and following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to Covid-19, 33% of bank customers used apps on phones or other mobile devices as their top option for managing their bank account, while 24% used online banking via laptop or PC the most and 21% most frequently conducted their transactions in person at a bank branch.
During the pandemic, the frequency of digital channel use increased even further (44% mobile app, 26% online) while branch banking fell to 10%.
Rob Morgan, senior vice president of innovation strategy at ABA, said: “Digital banking was on the rise long before COVID-19, but the growth in mobile app use accelerated as the pandemic made in-person banking more challenging.
“Today’s banking apps are extremely sophisticated, and this survey shows that many consumers who try them quickly make mobile their banking method of choice.”
More than half of Generation Z, Millennials and Generation X now use mobile banking apps most often. All three groups used this method most immediately prior to the pandemic.
The survey found that Baby Boomers most often utilized online banking which was 34% pre-pandemic, and 38% amid the pandemic. The second most-used method for Baby Boomers prior was visiting a bank branch (28%) but this fell to the third spot (17%) below mobile apps (29%) following the arrival of Covid-19.
During the pandemic, branch visits fell by at least eight percentage points among all generations.
In a recent opinion piece written for Banking Exchange, Carol Leaman, president and CEO of Axonify, the future of retail banking will be driven by consumer behaviour, with the shift to digital still in full swing.
A study by Self Financial, a fintech that specialises in the underbanked population, suggests that branches could be extinct by 2034.
However, research from banking software specialist Temenos reveals that banking customers may want a combined human-digital service balance. Research found that, while customers want banks to help them manage their financial lives and expect more from their digital banking services, access to people is still a priority.
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