WASHINGTON — While the Internet remains America’s most popular banking method, mobile banking has steadily gained momentum and is now preferred by 10 percent of consumers—up from 8 percent in 2013—according to a recent survey by the American Bankers Association.
The annual survey of 1,000 U.S. adults was conducted for ABA by Ipsos Public Affairs, an independent market research firm, Aug. 7-12, 2014. This is the sixth year in a row that customers have named the Internet as their favorite way of conducting their banking business, albeit by a slimmer margin than last year. Thirty-one percent of respondents said it is the method they use most often to manage their bank accounts, down from 39 percent in 2013.
The second most popular way to bank—visiting a branch—increased to 21 percent, while those preferring to use ATMs rose to 14 percent. Nessa Feddis, ABA’s senior vice president and deputy chief counsel for Consumer Protection and Payments, noted that this growth reflects banks’ recent investment in technological upgrades to enhance efficiency and customer service in these areas.
“Advances in technology have enabled banks to expand customer choices and make it easier for consumers to manage their account anywhere, any time,” said Feddis. “Consumers can deposit their check through a teller or interactive kiosk at a local branch, at an ATM or through an app on their mobile device. Most people use a mix of these methods.”
When asked “Which method do you use most often to manage your bank account(s)?” customers responded as follows:
- Internet Banking (laptop or PC) – 31% (39% in 2013)
- Branches – 21% (18% in 2013)
- ATMs – 14% (11% in 2013)
- Mobile (cell phone, Blackberry, PDA, iPad, etc.) – 10% (8% in 2013)
- Telephone – 7% (7% in 2013)
- Mail - 6% (7% in 2013)
- Don’t Know - 11% (10% in 2013)
“It’s clear that branches are still popular with many bank customers,” said Feddis. “When people are conducting a complex transaction like opening an account or applying for a home or business loan, they often prefer to do it in person. We’re seeing a branch renaissance in some areas, with many banks transforming their branches to become more efficient and customer-friendly.”
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.
About the Survey
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted August 7-12, 2014. For the survey, a national sample of 1,000 adults aged 18 and older were interviewed by telephone. Weighting was employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20 of what the results would have been if the entire population of adults aged 18 and older in the United States had been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
The American Bankers Association is the voice of the nation’s $14 trillion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional and large banks that together employ more than 2 million people, safeguard $11 trillion in deposits and extend nearly $8 trillion in loans.