Net and In-Person Banking Still Strong

While the Internet remains America’s most popular banking method, 10% of consumers now prefer mobile banking, up from 8% last year.

For the sixth consecutive year, customers named the Internet as their favorite way of banking, according to a survey by the American Bankers Association. About a third of respondents (31%) chose the ‘Net, though with a slight dip from the previous year’s 39%. The second most popular way to bank, visiting a branch, increased to 21%. Individuals who prefer to use automatic teller machines (ATMs) rose to 14%.

The survey compared the methods most often used to manage bank accounts, and comparisons are year on year for 2014 vs. 2013. Customers chose:

  • Internet via laptop or PC: 31% (vs. 39% a year earlier);
  • At bank branches: 21% (vs. 18%);
  • ATMs: 14% (vs. 11%);
  • Mobile via cell phone, iPad, BlackBerry or similar device: 10% (vs. 8%);
  • Phone: 7% (unchanged from 2013);
  • Snail mail: 6% (vs. 7%);
  • Don’t know: 11% (vs. 10% in 2013).

Online banking first became the most preferred banking method in 2009, with one in four customers naming it as their favorite. Previously, visiting a branch was the most popular method, followed by ATMs.

A similar recent survey by Ernst & Young finds that satisfaction with mobile banking is “notably lower” than that of online banking, “which may also be a result of mobile’s relatively recent introduction as a channel. Customers expect that everything they can do online can be done on their mobile device, but those enhancements are still catching up,” the survey authors said.

Mobile banking features do rate slightly higher in the Ernst & Young survey than the call center ratings of customer satisfaction.