Half of all US citizens now use online banking services

By August 21, 2013
smartphone with credit card

Young people especially are stepping up their use of online and mobile banking.


Now that consumers are increasingly using connected devices as part of their daily lives, online and mobile banking services are on the increase as well.  The services on offer range from simply checking account details online to actually transferring funds or using a downloadable app to access a helpline. These shifts in people’s habits, which have been predicted for many years, appear to have now become firmly entrenched in the United States. A report from US thinktank the Pew Center reveals that 50% of the overall adult population in the United States, rising to 61% among US Internet users, nowadays use online banking services. The use of mobile devices to access banking services is also skyrocketing, especially among young people and the more affluent members of society.

Mobile banking growing strongly

The increase in the use of mobile devices has been more marked during the last two years. Among those who use online banking services, an increasing number access them directly on their mobile phone. Between 2011 and 2013 the number of cellphone owners using mobile banking services has doubled, from 18% to 35%, while Internet-based use of online banking has tailed off at around 60% since 2010. In addition, 32% of US adults carry out actual bank transactions on their mobiles. Mobile devices are nevertheless still a relatively new way of doing things and banks are increasingly endeavoring to develop easy-to-use apps with a variety of functions. Banks are now offering mobile services which even enable their customers to manage sophisticated financial operations, one example being the Autobahn App Market launched by Deutsche Bank last year, to which a supply chain finance app has just been added.

Services still mainly used by young people

Young people are particularly keen on these services, with 67% in the 18-29 age group using online bank services and 54% using mobile apps, compared with only 14% of senior citizens. An earlier report from the Federal Reserve Board had already pointed to the fact that people aged 18 to 29 represent around 40% of mobile banking users although accounting for only 22% of mobile phone owners. Now that the proportion of seniors using mobile phones is rising steeply, banks will need to beef up the security of their apps in order to boost their appeal vis-à-vis this segment of the population, which also represents more than half of the most affluent households in the United States. Initiatives to develop simple apps designed to provide extra security in online transactions for elderly people, such as True Link, are likely to motivate the major banks to come up with useful innovations in this area.


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