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Credit Unions Surpass Community Banks in Mobile Banking


Dec. 17 - Credit unions are outperforming community banks in mobile banking, with nine out of ten credit unions offering web-based mobile banking. Meanwhile, three out of ten community banks reviewed do not offer a single form of mobile banking. Javelin Strategy & Research’s latest report analyzes the mobile banking offerings of the four largest banks, top ten large regional banks, top ten community banks, and top ten credit unions, by deposit size, enabling financial institutions (FIs) to benchmark themselves against the top performers in their respective banking category. The report analyzes the impact of increased mobile usage by device and operating system on mobile banking adoption at each type of FI.

Mobile banking offerings vary by size of FI, and consumer adoption varies accordingly. Among top 10 credit unions, 50% offer the triple play, that is, mobile web, app, and text banking. The percentage of consumers using mobile banking at credit unions is only 19%. There is still room for credit unions to grow, as 80% of the largest regional banks provide all three services and adoption increased to 28%. Consumer mobile banking growth follows smartphone adoption which is now at 52%. Javelin research reported that mobile banking added 10 million more U.S. adults in the past year, as smartphone usage surpassed feature phones and tablet adoption surged to 21%.

Mobile Banking—Triple Play—by FI Type

“Rising tablet adoption is giving mobile banking its biggest boost. Over the next five years, tablet adoption rates will more than double,” said Mary Monahan, Executive Vice President and Research Director, Mobile at Javelin. “Despite a slow start, we expect Windows tablets will take market share over the next few years from Android and Apple. All FIs, regardless of size, will need to consider device use among customers and adjust their strategies to offer the right type of mobile phone and tablet mobile banking solutions.”

“Last year’s Bank Transfer Day saw over 600,000 U.S. adults move their accounts from large banks to small FIs. It was a wake-up call for credit unions and community banks to beef up their offerings,” said Jim Van Dyke, President, Javelin. “Our report shows that the top 10 credit unions took a big bite out of big banks in mobile banking this year. If credit unions continue in this direction and stay ahead of community banks, there is even more opportunity for them to take a bigger chunk out of the market.”

Javelin Strategy & Research’s 2012 Mobile Banking, Smartphone and Tablet Forecast compares mobile banking offerings by mode and by device type of the 4 largest banks, top 10 large regional banks, top 10 community banks, and top 10 credit unions based on deposit size. The report forecasts mobile phone, smartphone, and tablet adoption by device and operating system. This report is based on data collected online in six surveys of more than 20,000 respondents. The report is 44 pages long and contains 31 figures and graphs.