Are Early Adopters of Mobile Banking Satisfied?

When you follow the mobile wallet news, one of the first things you notice is that there is an enormous amount of investment in mobile banking services. It seems like banks and other financial services firms launch a new app every week. Even credit unions are in on the mobile action. Qualitatively, the investment seems disproportionate to the current adoption level. I can’t say I know anyone who uses mobile banking, though I have to say I am a frequent user of my mobile Starbucks card.

When I talk to bank heads about mobile services, I consistently hear one thing – if our consumers want it, we are going to provide it. Essentially what banks are saying that regardless of the investment cost it is important that they meet their customers where they are at. Right now, where customers are at is increasingly on their mobile device. Personally and professionally, I admire this relentless focus on the customer. It will serve these big banks well in the long run. Especially in a time when banks are getting hammered in the media, it is also nice to hear first hand that they are actually very concerned about making life easier for people.

Given the level of investment and commitment to mobile applications and services, banks may wonder whether or not their mobile adopters are satisfied with their mobile offerings. What we hear from consumers is a resounding “yes!”

Compete’s Mobile FS Intelligence Survey

In Q2 2011, the Compete financial services team embarked on significant investigation into mobile banking. (We also took a look at mobile investing, mobile payments, and even mobile auto insurance. So, stay tuned for more insights in the coming weeks. Better yet, let me know what you want to learn and let’s talk.) We asked our panel (2 million US consumers) a lot of questions about mobile use and interest, including:

  • How familiar with mobile services are financial services consumers?
  • What is the likelihood of adoption of financial service mobile services among consumers?
  • How often do consumers observe mobile ads and take action?
  • What are barriers to FS mobile services adoption?
  • What impact, if any, does the availability of FS mobile services have on consumer perception and loyalty to companies?

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Mobile Service Satisfaction is Very High in Banking
In terms of satisfaction with current mobile banking services, here is what we heard. Overall, consumers who are using these services are very satisfied. Approximately 90% of consumers reported they were either extremely or very satisfied with transferring funds, scheduling bill payments, and viewing their account balance on their mobile device. Consumers were a little less satisfied – but still quite satisfied – with bill payment and remote check deposit with approximately 87% of consumers responding that they were very or extremely satisfied with these two mobile services. Interestingly, consumers were least satisfied with using their phone to locate a bank center or ATM, so banks should put that on their mobile to-do list.

Personally, I love paying for my morning coffee with my phone except, of course, when I’m actually using my phone as a phone and am mid-conversation. I will also be the very first one to adopt mobile check cashing when my neighborhood credit union rolls it out. In the short term, however, I don’t see abandoning my traditional wallet. What would I do if my battery died? Or, if I lost my phone?

What do you think about mobile banking and the mobile wallet? Love it? Hate it? Not interested? I would love to hear your thoughts. In the meantime, I’d like to say to the banks – nice job!

Check out Compete’s newest whitepapers on Mobile MoneyMobile Banking, and Mobile Credit Cards

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).