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Mobile banking is primary channel for 13%

2011 February 4
by David Eads
Novarica - Mobile Banking Primary Channel

Mobile Banking is the primary channel for a growing number of consumers

Mobile banking is becoming the primary channel for interacting with the bank for a growing number of users.

In May 2010 USAA reported that 38% of their mobile banking users considered mobile to be their primary interface with the bank.

Now research firm Novarica has found that 13% of smartphone users consider mobile their primary means to check balances.

Similarly, 9% of smartphone users consider mobile their primary means for transferring funds.

40% of mobile bankers with smartphones use mobile primarily

Studies from Fiserv, Javelin and others have consistently found that 80% or more of mobile banking usage involves balance checking. Transfers usually are the second most popular transaction. Few mobile banking applications offer remote funds deposit or new account opening, so it’s no surprise the responses were low. Not offering a feature is a great way to prevent adoption.

USAA is essentially an online-only bank and their membership contains many highly mobile and highly technical active duty military personnel. Mobile is the ideal medium for them and online is status quo since they’re branchless. So it’s expected that their members would have high mobile adoption rates and strong adoption to the channel.

Roughly a third of smartphone users use mobile banking according to Javelin. So the Novarica study indicates that nearly 40% of mobile bankers with smartphones use mobile primarily. This is important research that I haven’t seen elsewhere. It’s important to understand that mobile is being adopted and used significantly across the industry by a broad base of users.

These results were published in “Consumer Usage of the Mobile Banking Channel”, an executive brief authored by Madi Mantha.

This is a strong trend in mobile that I expect to see continue in other verticals such as Retail, Media, and Healthcare as they mature with mobile.

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