Comfort Zones: Acclimating Consumers to Mobile Banking

Comfort Zones: Acclimating Consumers to Mobile Banking

The world is going digital, and many consumers’ lives now revolve around their mobile phones and social media feeds. But while we’re quick to let devices around our wrists track our health, comfort levels vary when it comes to tech and mobile money management. In fact, many of us are still more at ease with seeing dollar signs on a printed statement than on a phone screen or in a mobile app.

As a result, the personal banking realm is rife with engagement opportunity for brands that step up and address consumer desires and hesitancies. And when it comes to getting the biggest bang for the buck, the greatest business upside lies with the consumers who have the deepest pockets. This select group of consumers, dubbed the mass affluent, is already digitally aware but not so much when it comes to mobile banking.

This is actually good news for savvy marketers. Why? Because it presents an opportunity to engage rather than repair. In fact, it’s a chance to pave a road where no path currently exists, which is much different than ripping up an existing street and laying down a new one. So in that respect, marketing professionals that knock down existing barriers and create holistic consumer experiences will be in the driver’s seat when it comes to digital adoption and future advancement.

Even though the mass affluent is digitally evolved, this group is far from comfortable when it comes banking on the go. They’re aware—even engaged—but not smitten. Why? Concerns about security are at the top of the list. Even Millennials, arguably the most tech savvy generation of consumers, aren’t fully sold on the idea of mobile banking. While 27% of mass affluent Millennials check their balances and 18% transfer funds via mobile, about 21% say they’ve experienced problems using mobile banking in the past.

User experience and usability are also barriers to success, especially among older generations who may have less experience with mobile technology. About 20% of mass affluent Baby Boomers say they don’t know how to use their banking apps, a possible reason why only 5% of mass affluent Boomers check their balances on their mobile devices. When they do log on via mobile, however, they’re more likely to use their tablets than their smartphones.

As was the case when online banking by computer was new, consumers will grow more comfortable with mobile banking over time. Today, mass affluent Boomers are very active online bankers, and 92% say online is their preferred channel for paying bills, well above the 65% of mass affluent Millennials who prefer to pay their bills online from a computer. It’s likely, however, that many younger Millennials are skipping the computer altogether and jumping right to their mobile devices.

So while barriers to increased mobile adoption do exist, overall digital engagement is strong. For marketers, breaking down these barriers will encourage greater use of mobile and new digital channels. To start, identify, design and enable channels with consumers’ preferred banking activities in mind. These, as noted in the recent Digital Enablement for Retail Banking report, depend on wealth and generation. Successful marketers will be the ones who solve the key challenges that different consumers face when engaging and transacting in an increasingly digitized world.