In the past several years, there has certainly been a greater trend toward finding ways for banks to incorporate themselves more into their customers' everyday lives. Many have started to focus on using mobile applications to keep themselves constantly front of mind, and this is something that certainly seems to be catching on with the youngest generation of adults.
On a global level, mobile banking is really starting to catch on these days, and this may be particularly true of young adults between the ages of 18 and 24, according to a new survey from the consulting firm Gemalto. In general, these young people tend to have positive attitudes toward mobile banking, and the number of them who use such services is growing quickly. For example, 33 percent of U.S. smartphone or tablet users say they've utilized a mobile banking app in the last 12 months; a year ago that number was just 28 percent.
"33% say they've utilized a mobile banking app in the last year."
Finding the right mix
Beyond that, though, 77 percent of respondents say that they use some sort of mobile banking service, and more than 2 in 5 check them at least five times per month, the report said. Meanwhile, 27 percent say that they only go to real-world banking locations once per month, and the same number say that they never do so any more.
In fact, when it comes to mobile banking, only 32 percent of people say they don't do it at all yet, while 45 percent only use their phone, the report said. Another 14 percent rely upon a mix of their tablet and smartphones, while 9 percent only use their tablets. Interestingly, more than 1 in 4 said they'd rather give up their bank accounts than their phones, and 97 percent noted that they at least own one mobile device.
What will they do?
Of course, when it comes to how they use mobile or online banking services - as opposed to brick-and-mortar bank branches - the results will vary, the report said. For instance, 40 percent say they use these services mostly for paying their bills, and 26 percent say they do so to transfer money within the country. But the next-largest group - 17 percent - say that they don't use them at all. Meanwhile, 9 percent simply utilize these services to check their balances and view statements, and 4 percent have used them to apply for credit cards or loans. Just 2 percent each make international money transfers, or other miscellaneous services.
These are certainly all interesting trends that bank managers will have to keep an eye on. The more that they can do to start tailoring their real-world services to meet consumers' needs - with the knowledge that today's young adults will be dominating the economy within the next decade or so alone - the better off they might be when it comes to making their branches stand out from a competitive market.