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Women, men tend to use digital banking channels differently

Debit card use differs depending on gender, research finds

Women, men tend to use digital banking channels differently

Bankers and the financial services industry have much to gain analyzing ways to make digital channels more compelling, more useful, and more satisfying to the nation's 126 million women, says Javelin Strategy and Research in a new report.

For example, women rely on debit cards more than men for daily financial activities. Javelin found that 69% of women are likely to pay with debit cards in a given week, versus 59% of men. Also, 26% of women swipe debit cards ten or more times per month; only 18% of men do so.

Women engage in more activities that point to day-to-day, on-the-go financial management, while men play a greater role in longer-term chores such as orchestrating more complex financial affairs and financial planning, Javelin says. As a result, women are significantly more likely than men to pay with debit cards than with credit cards.

"Although women are not as likely as men to try new technology first, they hold the key to mass adoption," says Mark Schwanhausser, director of Omnichannel Financial Services for Javelin Strategy & Research. "Banks need to incorporate online and mobile features that bolster women's desire for simplicity and to avoid slipping into debt. Smartphones, especially the camera feature, will attract women to banking services such as paying a bill from their checking account, depositing a check into their account, or using a driver license to open a new account within minutes."

John Ginovsky

John Ginovsky is a contributing editor of Banking Exchange and editor of the publication’s Tech Exchange e-newsletter. For more than two decades he’s written about the commercial banking industry, specializing in its technological side and how it relates to the actual business of banking. In addition to his weekly blogs—"Making Sense of It All"—he contributes fresh, original stories to each Tech Exchange issue based on personal interviews or exclusive contributed pieces. He previously was senior editor for Community Banker magazine (which merged into ABA Banking Journal) and for ABA Banking Journal and was managing editor and staff reporter for ABA’s Bankers News. Email him at [email protected]

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