Mobile and social to emerge as power channels for banking

Mobile and social to emerge as power channels for banking

New data from the UK's Office of National Statistics demonstrates the critical importance to banks of mobile and social channels to the consumer, with 91% of young adults connected to social networking sites, and nearly half of all Web users accessing the Internet via their mobile phone.

The information, which comes from the ONS opinions survey, shows that 45% of Internet users accessed the Internet via a mobile phone in 2011.

Access to the Web while on the move is a growing trend, with 4.9 million people connecting from wireless hotspots in 2011, double the numbers from last year.

Social networking, likewise, is becoming more popular, with 57% of adult Internet users using online social networks in 2011, up from 43% in 2010.

Young consumers are leading the trend, with 71% of 16-24 year olds using their phone to access the Web, and an overwhelming 91% now using social networking sites.

The UK data is in line with international trends. A just-published survey of 12,000+ Canadian consumers issued by JD Power & Associates finds social media emerging as an increasingly important alternative to traditional retail banking channels.

More than 60% of retail banking customers responding to the poll say they use social media. Among customers who use social media for banking purposes, 24% indicate they use it to discuss their banking experience or inform their bank of a customer service issue.

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 02 September, 2011, 13:25Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

It is certainly an increasing global trend to see consumers expanding the use of digital channels as a means to manage their banking relationships.  While many institutions still seem to be hesitant of social media channels, their customers are not holding back and are engaging fully with or without their institutions involvement.  Interestingly in the USA this has been recognised by BITS (a consortium of 100 of the top FI’s), which is part of the Financial Services Roundtable.  BITS recently published a paper entitled “Social Media Risks and Mitigation” as a means of helping banks engage in this new world.  Of course, the biggest risk is for those financial institutions who take a wait and see attitude to these new channels as they might find themselves marginalised by the Millennials moving into the workforce.