01 October 2016
Find out more

North Americans prefer banking online but turn to branches when problems hit - survey

05 October 2010  |  6408 views  |  0 keyboard 2

North Americans prefer the Internet for carrying out routine banking transactions but when a problem arises they turn to staff in a branch or over the phone, according to a survey from Empathica.

The poll of over 15,000 Americans and Canadians shows that for routine transactions, 41.4% of respondents cite the Internet as their preferred channel, followed by the branch, with 32.6% and ATM on 23.3%. Mobile and telephone came a distant fourth and fifth, at 1.5% and 1.3% respectively.

Yet, when a problem arises, consumer preference drastically shifts; 60% want to visit a branch, while 34% prefer using the phone and just six per cent want to take up their issue online. The branch is also the preferred channel - cited by 78.7% - for major transactions such as home loans.

Despite the hype, mobile banking still faces considerable barriers to take up. Not only do just 1.5% of North Americans use their handsets for everyday transactions, a majority do not trust the channel's security.

Of those polled, 51.2% of Americans and 60.3% of Canadians say they do not trust the security of mobile banking, compared to the 21.7% of US and 26.2% of Canadians that do not trust Internet banking. Out of all methods for transactions, consumers trust the branch the most - 84%.

Gary Edwards, Empathica, says: "Internet banking went through the same hurdles with privacy and security concerns. The more mobile technology is developed, however, the more you'll see consumers using their mobile device for banking. Right now it's just not at a stage where consumers trust device security, but the mobile channel will certainly play an important role in the future."

While mobile banking has a very low percentage of primary users in Canada, those who use it express a high level of affection for their financial institution. For Canadian consumers who cited using mobile banking the most for routine transactions, 83% were likely to recommend the channel. Branch, telephone, Internet and ATM all fell at or below 77%.

Canadians favour Internet banking overall (49.4%), which is 10 percentage points higher than Americans (38.2%), despite the fact that both countries' net penetration stands at around 77%.

"The fact that Internet penetration is the same but Canadians nonetheless use it more than Americans is good news for banks in Canada. The differences cannot be explained away by differences in accessibility to these services. It has something to say about cultural differences and overall Internet banking use," says Edwards.

The survey broadly aligns with a recent study from the American Bankers Association which found 36% of respondents favouring the Web, compared to 25% for branches, 15% ATMs and just three per cent mobile phones.

Comments: (0)

Comment on this story (membership required)

Finextra news in your inbox

For Finextra's free daily newsletter, breaking news flashes and weekly jobs board: sign up now

Related stories

US consumers prefer online banking - ABA survey

US consumers prefer online banking - ABA survey

01 October 2010  |  9958 views  |  2 comments
Banks giving offline Brits a raw deal - Which?

Banks giving offline Brits a raw deal - Which?

27 September 2010  |  4966 views  |  0 comments
Chase Web crash locks out 16.5 million online customers

Chase Web crash locks out 16.5 million online customers

15 September 2010  |  10937 views  |  0 comments
15% of Americans use mobiles to make purchases - survey

15% of Americans use mobiles to make purchases - survey

20 August 2010  |  8615 views  |  0 comments
Wells Fargo online banking service hits 15

Wells Fargo online banking service hits 15

18 May 2010  |  9940 views  |  0 comments
US online banking customer satisfaction slips but remains high

US online banking customer satisfaction slips but remains high

13 May 2010  |  8065 views  |  0 comments
Americans prefer branches over Internet for bank communication - survey

Americans prefer branches over Internet for bank communication - survey

13 November 2009  |  6245 views  |  1 comments
E-banking used by four in five online US households - survey

E-banking used by four in five online US households - survey

15 July 2009  |  6140 views  |  0 comments
Majority of Canadians banking online

Majority of Canadians banking online

19 December 2008  |  5717 views  |  0 comments
Canadians top for online banking

Canadians top for online banking

11 July 2008  |  8037 views  |  0 comments

Related blogs

Create a blog about this story (membership required)
Visit www.abe-eba.euFind out moreVisit contisgroup.com

Top topics

Most viewed Most shared
Ripple rudely gatecrashes Sibos partyRipple rudely gatecrashes Sibos party
11238 views comments | 35 tweets | 33 linkedin
BNP Paribas is working with clients on blockchain deploymentBNP Paribas is working with clients on blo...
8132 views comments | 15 tweets | 31 linkedin
Banks ready for real-world blockchainBanks ready for real-world blockchain
7186 views comments | 22 tweets | 29 linkedin
PayPal and Lenovo team on biometric authentication for laptopsPayPal and Lenovo team on biometric authen...
6837 views comments | 13 tweets | 16 linkedin
Distributed ledger technology could damage financial market integration - ECBDistributed ledger technology could damage...
6320 views comments | 15 tweets | 10 linkedin

Featured job

to c.£100K base, double OTE
London, UK (covering Europe)

Find your next job