More people banked on mobile than in-branch in the US last year

Sign that says bank

For the first time, more people in the US chose to do their weekly banking on mobile phones than those who preferred to bank in a branch, according to research from Javelin Strategy & Research.

This comes on the back of a report from EY in December where it found that out of 10,131 digitally active consumers in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK and the US, 15.5 per cent have used at least two FinTech services – which are defined as financial services products developed by non-bank, non-insurance, online companies – in the second half of 2015. The report also said that the adoption rates could double in the next 12 months if the survey’s respondents follow up on their initial intention of using the FinTech services.

Javelin’s research actually lead the company to forecast that 81 per cent of adult in the US will use mobile banking by 2020. Out of 3,100 people surveyed, nearly a third (30 per cent) said they use a mobile banking service on a weekly basis, whereas only less than quarter said they banked physically.

In fact, in 2015, one in ten US adults began using mobile banking for the very first time- that may not sound like a lot until you consider what that one per cent represents – 25 million people. So 25 million people started using mobile banking last year.


In the last half a decade, the rate of mobile banking and smartphone adoption has more than doubled, whilst adoption of tablets has increased roughly 8.5 times. The momentum is clearly with mobile banking is the clear winner in the digital battle between mobile and branch.

“Mobile is on a growth path to unseat PCs to become the ‘first screen’ through which bank customers interact with and judge their primary financial institution (FI),” said Daniel Van Dyke, Mobile Analyst, JAVELIN. “FIs will need to continue to innovate to outpace this increasing mobile banking adoption. With fintech start-ups and other vendors entering the space, consumers have more options than ever when it comes to mobile,” she added.

Here in the UK, Halifax revealed that one in seven active online banking customers checked their bank account on Christmas Day, according to Halifax within which 70 per cent did so on a mobile device, with a further 8 per cent used a tablet. This means that only under a quarter of active online banking customers used, what can now quite comfortably be described as a ‘good old-fashioned’ computer.

Furthermore, back in October figures from the Campaign for Community Banking Services indicated the rate at which banks close their high street branches is accelerating with with 650 branch closures expected in 2015 – up from 500 branches in 2014 following 222 in 2013.

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