Mobile Banking Grows By 50% in U.S.

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With smartphones and tablets becoming increasingly present in society, it looks like users are employing these devices to do more than play games or make phone calls, as a new report shows that mobile banking usage in the U.S. has doubled since last year.

Smartphone CostThe U.S. represented the highest frequency in mobile banking, according to the Bain & Company annual “Customer Loyalty in Retail Banking Report (2012 global edition,) with respondents averaging 4.9 mobile transactions in the previous three months.

With an opportunity to cut costs, banks are shifting their focus on the mobile frontier, integrating more routine banking activities into the sphere of possibilities. For example, the survey found that 64% of mobile banking users in the U.S. would highly value the ability check account balances via their smartphone or tablet.

This is followed by 41% of customers who would appreciate being able to use their mobile devices for remote deposit capture with a picture of an endorsed check.

Although the type of interactions users found to be most appreciated for mobile banking varied, 26% of respondents did agree that paying bills through their smartphone would be highly valued.

“Mobile banking presents profit-strapped banks with an opportunity to shift routine transactions from high-cost physical channels to much lower-cost digital channels,” said Gerard du Toit, Bain financial services partner and lead author of the report. “It also presents opportunities for banks to create more “wow” experiences that use new digital technologies to delight customers and deepen customer loyalty.”

Surveying 150,000 bank account holders in 14 global markets, Bain & Company also found that Asia had the highest mobile banking penetration, with 47% of respondents in South Korea saying they had mobile interactions in the past three months. Furthermore, Asia was found to have the highest scores for customer loyalty, while wealthier customers surveyed in the U.S. and European countries gave the lowest loyalty scores.

In spite of this, both Citi and JPMorgan Chase having both improved their customer loyalty scores compared to other large banks since 2011, as a direct result of the increased functionality of mobile banking. With the report stating that some loyalty shifts are so pronounced that it moved scores from negative to positive, it’s clear mobile banking will only grow as companies continue to benefit from its potential.

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