In a recent survey on FindABetterBank, 62% of checking account shoppers expect to open the checking account at a branch. That’s interesting considering closer to 90% of accounts are actually opened in branches. At the same time, more and more consumers will expect to open their accounts using their mobile device. Will mobile account opening have better results than online account opening?
Consumers will soon expect everything to be mobile. Already, nearly 9% of shoppers expect to open their new checking account from their mobile device. And why wouldn’t they expect to? After all, auto accident claims, including photos, can be done with a mobile phone. With some mobile retailers, paying by credit card can be done by taking a picture of the card. Given the rapid adoption of mobile services, in two years it’s reasonable to expect that more than 20% of people shopping for checking accounts will expect to open the account from their mobile phone.
Bad digital shopping experiences continue to hold online account opening back. Even though 26% of shoppers expect to open their accounts online, it’s likely that fewer than half will actually go through the whole process online. The biggest reason for this falloff has little to do with the online application process and everything to do with the experience before shoppers click “Apply Now:” Most bank and credit union websites fail to provide shoppers with easy ways to find answers to basic questions, like “Where are your branches” or “What is the rate for this loan?” Without getting all their questions answered, many feel the need to go to the branch.
Branches will remain the dominant channel… for now. It’s true that many consumers choose their primary bank based on the proximity of nearby branches and accessibility of ATMs. And there will always be a set of consumers that will prefer to sit across a desk from someone when they open a bank account. But the gap between the percent that want to open online and the percent that actually open online will remain large as long as online shopping experiences fail to address shoppers’ needs. Putting a bad experience on a mobile device won’t change that fact.