Mobile Banking Adoption is Still Pretty Darned Low

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12 January 2018
Daniel W. Latimore

Focus on headlines and you’d think that consumer mobile banking is ubiquitous. It’s not. The Boston Fed recently released a report called Mobile Banking and Payment Practices of U.S. Financial Institutions. It has some great data, and has garnered some well-deserved headlines, but not quite in the way it should, in part because the study itself has mangled its lead. The very first key finding (page 4) says:

Retail mobile banking is ubiquitous at U.S. FIs: 89 percent of FI [emphasis mine] respondents currently offer mobile banking services to consumers; and 97 percent will offer these service [sic] by 2018.

That’s all well and good – sure, most (respondent) banks are offering mobile – but it misses a bigger point: how many consumers are actually using mobile banking services? Here’s where we move away from ubiquity and really get to the crux of the issue. The report states in its fifth key finding that,

Of those FIs tracking customer adoption, 54 percent now have more than 20 percent of their retail customers enrolled in mobile banking; and 44 percent have more than 20 percent actively using those services.

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North America