More consumers growing interested in mobile transactions

Over the last few years, many banks have likely observed the trend toward consumers adopting mobile technology as a crucial part of their everyday banking experience. And new data suggests that this is a trend that's only likely to continue into the near future at the very least as more consumers obtain and use mobile devices in their everyday lives. However, the challenge for many banks is not so much getting people to adopt mobile technology, but rather to find ways to make sure that technology can be seamlessly adapted into the in-person banking experience.

Today, about half of consumers across the country have a mobile banking app installed on their smartphones, and of that group, 7 in 10 say they use it at least a few times a month, according to the latest annual U.S. Consumer Payment Choice Study from TSYS. That equates to 35 percent of all consumers nationwide using this technology on a regular basis, and the number seems poised to continue growing in the near future.

"We expect the emphasis on digital engagement and technology to continue as innovation increases and new products become available to consumers," said John Dale Hester, group executive of Relationship Management at TSYS. "Providing a more robust customer experience and expanded consumer choices will help drive progress and innovation within the payments industry."

Other findings
Meanwhile, the use of loyalty and rewards programs seem to have an influence on how people feel about their banks and the ways in which they complete transactions, the report said. Today, 55 percent of consumers say the rewards they can earn are their biggest reason for sticking with a given credit card.

And when it comes to interacting with consumers on a regular basis, it seems banks would do well to stick to email, the report said. In all, 46 percent of consumers said that this is their preferred means of dealing with banks as far as their transactions are concerned.

The ways in which consumers handle their accounts are changing.The ways in which consumers handle their accounts are changing.

Evolving payment preferences
In addition to all that, it seems that consumers generally still prefer to make debit purchases, but less so than they used to, the report said. Today, 41 percent of bank customers like to use debit to make purchases, down from 43 percent last year and 49 percent in 2013. However, credit cards haven't budged in the last year either, preferred by just 35 percent of respondents.

While mobile banking adoption should be a priority for financial institutions in much the same way it currently is for consumers, the challenge for such companies these days is to make sure that the sometimes unavoidable branch banking process fits into evolving customer preferences. That is to say that the more that can be done to make sure people aren't spending more time than they'd like in line at the bank, the better off both they and their respective institutions of choice are going to be down the road, as this technology is only going to move onward toward ubiquity.