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Online/Mobile Banking Adoption Trends & Demographic Profiles

51% of US adults bank online, while 32% transact bank business on their mobile phones. Here’s a breakdown profiling users so you can target consumers with the right digital channels.

Subscribe Today61% of all internet users in the U.S. bank online. 35% of cell phone owners bank using their mobile phones. And both types of digital banking are on the rise, according to research from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

In 2010, only 46% of U.S. adults (58% of internet users) said they banked online. By 2011, 18% of cell phone owners said they had used their phone to check their balance or conduct some other similar business with their bank.


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The Demographics of Online Banking Users

Susannah Fox, Associate Director for the Pew Internet Project and author of the research, says young adults (ages 18-29) and whites represent the two groups seeing the most significant increases in uptake of traditional desktop-based online banking.

% Who Use Desktop-Based
Online Banking
All internet users 61%
Men 63%
Women 58%
White 63%
Black 48%
Hispanic 62%
18-29 67%
30-49 65%
50-64 55%
65+ 47%
No high school diploma 30%
High school grad 47%
Some college 66%
College+ 75%
Household Income
Less than $30,000 per year 48%
$30,000 to $49,999 57%
$50,000 to $74,999 71%
$75,000+ 75%
Urban 62%
Suburban 66%
Rural 42%
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Mobile Banking Users: Who Are They?

Younger adults are also leading the mobile banking trend. However, in contrast with online banking trends, non-white cell phone owners are more likely than whites to engage in mobile banking.


% Who Bank On
Their Mobile Phone
All mobile phone owners
Men 35%
Women 35%
White 32%
Black 39%
Hispanic 41%
18-29 54%
30-49 40%
50-64 25%
65+ 14%
High school or less 27%
Some college 41%
College+ 41%
Household Income
Less than $30,000 per year 31%
$30,000 to $49,999 32%
$50,000 to $74,999 45%
$75,000+ 44%

These findings dovetail with surveys conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs for the American Bankers Association (ABA). In 2012, 39% of U.S. adults said they prefer to bank online (up from 36% in 2010) and 6% said they prefer to bank on a mobile device (up from 3% in 2010). Adults between the ages of 18-34 years old are driving the growth in both online and mobile banking, according to the ABA.

All content © 2017 by The Financial Brand and may not be reproduced by any means without permission.

Digital Banking Report | 2017 Marketing Trends


  1. James Robert Lay says:

    While we often look at what the external adoption rate is for digital channels, what if banks and credit unions turned towards the internal adoption rate of the same products? What would this look like? The same? Lower? Higher?

    And if lower, why? The point of this thinking is, shouldn’t the bank or credit union staff use the same products that we expect consumers to. Other retail industries hold staff to this standard from cell phone companies, to Apple, to Microsoft and even stores like GAP, Abercrombie, etc.

    The point is these organizations require their employees and staff to use their products as part of a selling point. If a bank or credit union staff member does not use the product, such as mobile banking, RDC, etc… how can they promote or advocate on the products behalf to the customer/member which in turn could lead to increased digital product adoption.

  2. Good point, James – having familiarity with the FI’s digital channels is essential for employees to get their value across. If nothing else, employees ought to be able to show customers/members the mobile channel. Why? Pew research says that while less than 60% of people have laptops/desktops, 91% have cell phones, and about 56% have smart phones. Smart phone adoption has outpaced any other technology in history. Tablets aren’t far behind. If you’re not a big presence on that mobile screen, it may already be too late. The challenge has already shifted from having a strong online/mobile channel to now ensuring that the user experience is consistent on all device screens, and takes full advantage of what these devices can do. Netflix, Facebook and Google are setting the pace for what consumers expect. Banks who don’t keep up won’t be around for long.

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