Mobile banking capabilities are critical for selection of bank

With rising levels of smartphone ownership, and a
corresponding increase in consumer usage and engagement, mobile adoption has
changed how banks are evaluated by consumers and mobile capabilities are now
becoming a critical factor in consumers’ selection of their primary bank,
according to Mercatus.

The study report focused on consumers’ mobile behavior
and the impact mobile devices are having on the banking and payments


“The increase in smartphone ownership is having a
profound effect. Our survey reveals that smartphone ownership has risen
dramatically among key consumer groups, such as 26-34 year-olds, where
smartphones are almost 50 percent of the mobile phones owned, up from just
under one-third only a year ago,” said Teresa Epperson, partner, Mercatus.

Results of the Mercatus survey also demonstrate the increased levels of engagement smartphone owners
have with their phones. In addition to significant texting, emails and Internet
access on a daily basis, one-third access social networking sites and almost 10
percent download videos or movies daily.  Usage for telephone calls is
actually in decline.

This kind of intense engagement will continue to
increase, as smartphone functionality continues to expand and the device
becomes the primary channel for general ‘lifestyle management. As a result,
mobile is becoming a dominant factor in consumer decision making particularly
in retail shopping and financial services. With mobile emerging as critical
bank selection criteria, mobile capabilities become extremely important to a
bank’s new customer acquisition and growth strategies.

“This year, 35 percent of consumers told us that
mobile was an ‘extremely important or important’ consideration in their
selection of a new primary bank, up from 20 percent one year ago,”
Epperson added.

The influence of mobile capabilities on consumers staying
with their banks was also revealed. Less than 5 percent of those who used
mobile banking and mobile payments services in the past year switched banks, on
par with those who used automatic withdrawals for mortgage or rent payments,
and online bill payment services. Interestingly, customer retention related to
mobile was greater than that of online banking and direct deposit of paychecks,
services that have generally served to retain banks’ customers.

By Team

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