Two Opportunities to Encourage Mobile Banking Adoption

Last month, Compete released the results of its Q3 2010 Smartphone Intelligence survey. One of the notable insights from the survey is that mobile banking usage is on the rise, with 40 percent of respondents reporting using mobile banking apps once a month or more. However, with only 6 percent of consumers using mobile banking apps daily, we also noted that mobile banking is not yet part of the consumer’s regular routine.

According to a new study by Accenture, banks enabling customers to use a mobile device to check balances, transfer money, and pay bills can achieve returns on investment as high as 300 percent. We also see financial services companies increasingly competing on application technology in order to attract and retain consumers. Clearly, financial services institutions have good reason to push for consumer adoption of mobile banking.

Curious about what challenges face marketers of mobile banking, we asked smartphone users who indicated they were not interested in mobile banking specifically why they were not interested. We asked about using smartphones to check account balances, pay bills, receive and redeem coupons, transfer money to friends/family (e.g. Western Union or PayPal), to find a local bank branch or ATM, to manage investments (e.g. buy or sell stocks), to purchase goods from retail websites (e.g. from Amazon.com or ebay.com), and to purchase goods at the retail point-of-sale (e.g. buy a coffee at a Starbucks store).

So why aren’t smartphone users interested in mobile banking?

Well, it really came down to two things – concerns about security and lack of a perceived need for the function. For each of the features we asked about, the number one or number two response was either:

  • I don’t need to do this, or
  • I don’t trust the security of my mobile phone for this

Other responses included:

  • I am concerned there will be hidden fees if I do this
  • I do not have a data plan with my phone that will allow me to do this
  • The wireless connection on my phone is too slow to make me want to do this

These last three responses consistently accounted for less than 10-15% of the total.

mobile banking graph

Check out the chart above, and you will see that a perceived lack of need was the number one reason smartphone users said they weren’t interested in using their phone as a ticket, to make a point-of-sale purchase, to manage their investments, or to receive and redeem coupons. In addition, consumers are very concerned about security of the their phones, especially when it comes to using them to purchase goods from websites, transfer funds between accounts, or viewing bank account statements.

Addressing Security and Fostering a Sense of Need

The good news is that addressing security concerns and fostering a sense of need can be attended to in marketing messaging. A quick look at the mobile banking messaging at Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Chase reveals that the dominant messaging for mobile banking across brands is “convenience.” With lots of room to build out marketing messages around security and benefits beyond convenience, this is certainly an exciting opportunity to connect with consumers.

bank of america screenshot

About:
Jennifer Johnston Canfield is a Senior Associate in Financial Services at Compete. Jennifer is responsible for providing competitive analysis to financial services clients. Before Jennifer joined the Compete team she was a social media marketing consultant. Connect with Jennifer on Twitter or LinkedIn.

About Smartphone Intelligence
Compete’s Smartphone Intelligence combines consumer insights (through surveys) with behavioral data (through online click stream data) to reveal how Smartphone owners are using their phones, the sites they visit on the mobile Web and what they like and dislike about their phone and experiences. Smartphone Intelligence subscribers will receive comprehensive quarterly reports with fresh data about Smartphone use and behavior, as well as actionable recommendations tailored to their business.

Smartphone Intelligence also enables clients to go deeper with custom research addressing specific business questions relevant to unique segments of Smartphone owners. Only Compete can bring in the online behavior of millions of consumers through click stream data to help answer these questions. To learn more, visit:http://compete.com/custom_/telecomSmartphone/.

About Compete
Compete, a Kantar Media company, helps the world’s top brands improve their marketing based on the online behavior of millions of consumers. Leading advertisers, agencies and publishers rely on Compete’s products and services to create engaging online experiences and highly profitable advertising campaigns. Compete’s online panel — the largest in the industry — makes the web as ingrained in marketing as it is in people’s lives. Compete is located in Boston, MA, with offices throughout the U.S. For more information, please visit http://www.compete.com/.

About Kantar Media
Established in more than 50 countries, Kantar Media helps clients master the world’s multimedia momentum through analysis of print, radio, TV, internet, cinema, mobile, social media, and outdoor worldwide. Kantar Media offers a full range of media insights and audience measurement services through its global business sectors — Intelligence, Audiences, TGI and Custom. Kantar Media companies also include Compete, Cymfony and SRDS. Drawing upon the deepest expertise in the industry, Kantar Media tracks more than 3 million brands and delivers insight to more than 22,000 customers worldwide. www.KantarMediaNA.com

About Jennifer Canfield:
Jennifer Johnston Canfield is a Senior Associate in Financial Services at Compete. Jennifer is responsible for providing competitive analysis to financial services clients. Before Jennifer joined the Compete team she was a social media marketing consultant. Connect with Jennifer on Twitter (@jbjcanfield) or LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/in/jenniferjohnstoncanfield).