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U.S. Mobile Banking Grew 20% in Q1 2010

2010 April 18

Mobile banking adoption in the U.S. is grew by 20% last quarter according to research we have done on large and regional banks in the U.S.

USAA is a good published example of this industry growth we think is fueled by the proliferation of smartphones and a growing consumer comfort and familiarity with mobile technology.

Nielson: Smartphones to overtake feature phones in 2011

USAA reports having 17% mobile banking adoption at then end of Q1 2010 up from 14% at the end of 2009. Other banks for whom we cannot report numbers grew at a similar rate.

The key question is “When will mobile adoption level off like online banking did?”

Online banking usage has held steady around 40% for years now. So far, most U.S. banks have limited mobile banking to online banking customers. Wells Fargo is the notable exception.

Banks are considering options to support offline customers (non-online banking customers). However, many efforts are unlikely to be live until at least early 2011.

When will mobile adoption level off like online banking did?”

At 20% quarterly growth, mobile banking will catch up with online banking in 2011. Meanwhile Nielsen reports smartphone usage will catch up with feature phone usage in 2011.

Bank of America may be an example of maturing mobile banking. But if so, mature mobile banking isn’t moving much slower than the newcomers.

BofA reports having over 4 million mobile banking users up from 2.6 million reported in June 2009. That addition of 1.4 million users in nine months represents roughly 18% growth per quarter and nearly 54% growth overall.

It’s time to put those offline user support projects into overdrive.

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