Mobile Banking: Which APPS are Paying Dividends for Banks? [Survey]

17 Nov, 2017 Chris Medenwald, PhD

Smartphones are just about everywhere.

According to Pew, 77% of Americans owned a smartphone in 2016, including 92% of the 18-29 age category.

But what will you find on these millions of smartphones?

Somewhere, perhaps lost in the crowd of social media, music, and shopping apps, you’re likely to find one or more personal banking apps.  

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Today, after all, we’re increasingly banking through our smartphones, which naturally leads to some questions:

  • Exactly how prevalent are banking apps?
  • Which banking apps are most popular among smartphone owners?
  • What are banking apps used for?

Let's take a look.

 

Survey: Insights into Personal Banking Apps

 

To explore these questions and others, auditing and insights firm Field Agent surveyed 2,363 smartphone owners*.

*All U.S. adults at least 18 years of age with an active checking and/or savings account; all current smartphone owners; 67% female/33% male; 18-24 (6%), 25-34 (28%), 35-44 (32%), 45-54 (23%), 55-64 (10%), 65+ (2%). All surveys were completed on the Field Agent mobile app between November 2-3, 2017.

 

Below we offer the results as a six-question QuickFire Q&A.

 

1. Which banks have the most popular apps?

 

Field Agent asked smartphone owners, “Which banks’ mobile apps do you currently have on your phone?”

Of 2,363 respondents, 19% reported having the Chase banking app on their phones, followed by Bank of America (16%), Wells Fargo (13%), PNC Bank (6%), and Citibank (5%).

Forty-six percent of respondents selected “other” for this question—a category which, in this case, encompasses local banks, regional banks, and credit unions.

 

Most Popular Bank Apps

 

2. But which banks have the most “mobile-connected” customers?

 

The results from the previous question may, however, reward banks with the largest customer bases. In other words, the more customers a bank has, the more likely their apps will be on a proportionately greater number of smartphones.

But Field Agent also asked survey respondents to identify the specific banks with which they have active checking and/or savings accounts. This allowed us to determine which banks have the most “mobile-connected” customers.

Bank of America took first prize. Some 85% of BoA customers have the BoA mobile app on their smartphones. By comparison, 81% of Chase customers have the Chase app on their devices.

 

Most Mobile Connected Bank Customers

 

3. How many smartphones actually contain a banking app?

Banking App Users 

The vast majority (80%) of smartphone owners reported having at least one mobile banking app* on their devices.

*For this survey, “banking app” refers only to mobile apps operated by specific retail banks. Examples include Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo. “Banking app” is not a reference to other types of financial apps.

 

4. How many smartphones have more than one banking app?

 

Thirty-two percent of smartphone owners have more than one banking app on their devices—which means Chase and Bank of America, or some other combination of banks, may be cohabiting every third phone out there.

Nine percent of respondents have three or more retail banking apps on their phones.

 

5. Do Millennials have banking apps on their smartphones?

 

In our survey, Millennials were more likely than non-Millennials to have banking apps on their smartphones. Some 84% of respondents ages 18-37 (n = 1,061) reported having such an app on their devices, compared to 78% of those older than 37. 

 

6. Why do Americans use banking apps?

 

Among respondents with at least one banking app on their phones (n = 1,899), 9 of 10 said they use these apps to check their account balances.

Tracking account history (76%), transferring money internally (e.g., between checking and savings; 68%), and making checking/savings deposits (62%) are also common app uses.

 

Why Do Americans Use Banking Apps

 

 

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Smartphones are making it easier than ever for banks to manage their widespread retail operations. Download the free case study, "Banking on Success: How Smartphones Offer 'Eyes-On Certainty' to Retail Banks," to see how Field Agent helps banks take control of their business.

 

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