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ABA Survey: Popularity of Mobile Banking Jumps


Oct 15 - A new survey by the American Bankers Association shows a sharp increase in the popularity of mobile banking, driven mainly by customers in the 18 to 34-year-old age group. The survey of 1,000 U.S. adults, conducted Aug. 2-6, 2012, by Ipsos Public Affairs, an independent market research firm, revealed that while the Internet remains the most popular banking method, mobile banking is now preferred by 6 percent of customers, a 100 percent increase from 2010, and by 15 percent of 18-34 year olds, also known as “millennials.”

This is the fourth year in a row that customers have named the Internet as their favorite way of conducting their banking business, with 39 percent of respondents saying it is the method they use most often to manage their bank accounts.

The second most popular way to bank — visiting a branch — continued its downward trend to 18 percent.

“The survey results show consumers have a clear preference for the speed and convenience that come with Internet and mobile banking,” said Nessa Feddis, ABA senior counsel and retail banking expert.  “However, banks are committed to serving the needs of all customers regardless of which method they prefer,” she added. 

The survey’s margin of error is +/- 3.1 percent.

When asked “Which method do you use most often to manage your bank account(s),” customers responded as follows:

“These results show customers are embracing new technologies that make managing a bank account simpler, easier and more convenient but that doesn’t mean that the traditional bank branch is going anywhere,” said Feddis.

“Branch design may evolve as a result of declining foot traffic. However, we know that nothing replaces human interaction and that’s why branches will never disappear,” she added.         

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 Aug. 2-6, 2012.  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 un-weighted probability sample of this size and a 100 percent 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.