ABA Survey: More Consumers Turning to Mobile Banking

 Online banking is still America’s most popular banking method, but mobile banking continues to grow, according to a recent survey by the American Bankers Association. Mobile banking is now preferred by 12 percent of consumers—up from 3 percent just five years ago.

The annual survey of 1,000 U.S. adults was conducted for ABA by Ipsos Public Affairs, an independent market research firm, July 8-13, 2015. This is the seventh year in a row that customers have named the Internet as their favorite outlet for conducting their banking business. Nearly one-third of respondents (32 percent) said it is the method they use most often to manage their bank accounts, up slightly from 31 percent in 2014.

The number of people who preferred visiting a branch fell 4 points to 17 percent, but branch banking remained the second most popular way to bank. Mobile banking nearly eclipsed ATMs, which fell slightly to 13 percent. Nessa Feddis, ABA’s senior vice president and deputy chief counsel for consumer protection and payments, expects mobile banking’s popularity to continue its gradual climb.

“Mobile banking’s popularity will continue to grow as banks enhance their mobile functionality and make it easier for consumers to access their accounts anytime and anywhere,” said Feddis. “Mobile banking is also an e-banking option for those who don’t have a computer but do have a smart phone. As consumers spend more time on their mobile devices, it’s likely that more people will adopt mobile banking as their top choice going forward.”

When asked “Which method do you use most often to manage your bank account(s)?” customers responded as follows:

  • Internet Banking (laptop or PC) – 32% (31% in 2014)
  • Branches – 17% (21% in 2014)
  • ATMs – 13% (14% in 2014)
  • Mobile (cell phone, Blackberry, PDA, iPad, etc.) – 12% (10% in 2014)
  • Mail - 7% (6% in 2014)
  • Telephone – 5% (7% in 2014)
  • Don’t Know - 13% (11% in 2014)

“While everyone has their own preferred method, banks provide a diverse menu of options to meet the needs of all customers,” said Feddis. “Online and mobile banking are features that complement, but do not replace, branches. The design of branches may change, but as the survey numbers suggest, they’re here to stay.”

Online banking first became the most preferred banking method in 2009 with 25 percent of customers naming it as their favorite. Previously, visiting a branch was the most popular method, followed by ATMs.