Mobile Banking Plays Key Role in #1 Factor for Customer Loyalty, According to Yodlee Interactive Survey

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A lack of tablet optimized banking apps has users turning to a cruder mobile web experience.

Banking convenience dominates all options amongst reasons to stay with banks, according to a new study conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Yodlee Interactive. With the convenience of online and mobile banking, more customers are utilizing these services, while banks are responding by reducing the number of physical branches. This survey was conducted among 2,219 Americans (ages 18+) between February 28 and March 4, 2013.

The study found that 63 percent of U.S. adults who have a bank account indicate they stay with their current bank because of convenience. Customer service (48 percent) and the lack of/low account and ATM fees (42 percent) follow convenience as the other primary reasons. Interestingly enough, 1 in 3 of those who use mobile banking see their mobile banking experience as a reason why they stay with their banks (33 percent).

Seventy-one percent of mobile bankers are either satisfied or very satisfied with their bank’s mobile and web offerings. This has led the report's sponsor, Yodlee Interactive, to conclude that mobile banking may, in fact, keep loyalty high among bank customers as physical branches decline.

“Customer loyalty is a primary concern for banks,” says Yodlee Interactive General Manager, Joseph Polverari. “Our findings suggest a corollary between one of banks’ biggest priorities - customer loyalty - and consumers’ usage patterns for mobile banking. With the anticipated growth of mobile banking in the next four years, banks that want to boost customer loyalty should strongly consider developing apps that increase the convenience of consumer banking.”

Overall, 31 percent of U.S. adults who have a bank account indicate that they use mobile banking (i.e., use a smartphone, tablet device, or some other mobile device to access their banking information). Close to half (49 percent) of smartphone owners who have a bank account access their banking information on their smartphones, compared to 36 percent of tablet owners who have a bank account.

Banking app development has yet to fully catch on with consumers on tablets. Most smartphone owners who have a bank account use their bank’s mobile app to access their banking information on their smartphone, while most tablet owners access their banking information on their tablet’s mobile web browser. This distinction is most evident among adults ages 18-44 (the largest demographic of mobile device users).

"Banks have focused on smartphone apps, but stretching the same app to work on a tablet seems to have backfired as consumers are opting for mobile web experiences on tablets," continued Polverari. "We believe that tablet optimized banking apps represent a major opportunity to reach customers with a better and richer experience."

Another interesting finding is that smartphone owners who use mobile banking indicate they deposit checks on their smartphone device more than tablet owners indicate they deposit checks on their tablet device (33 percent versus 22 percent). Additionally, within this group of smartphone owners, those with a household income (HHI) of $75k+ are twice as likely to deposit checks to their bank account (44 percent) as those who make less than $35k (21 percent) and nearly twice as likely to do so as those with a HHI of $50-$74.9k (27 percent).

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Kayvan Farzaneh
VSCpr for Yodlee Interactive
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