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Online banking tops again

By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com
Monday, October 22, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET

Consumers of all ages love online banking, but smartphone apps are gaining ground, especially among younger people, as a preferred method to access banking services.

That's according to a new survey released by the American Bankers Association, or ABA, a banking industry group in Washington, D.C.

The survey found the following.

  • Thirty-nine percent of respondents preferred Internet banking.
  • Eighteen percent liked banking at a branch.
  • Twelve percent favored ATMs.
  • Nine percent chose to use telephone banking.
  • Eight percent opted for bank by mail.
  • Six percent preferred mobile banking, using a cellphone or other small electronic device.

The same survey two years earlier found stronger preferences for banking at branches and using ATMs and lower preferences for the other banking methods.

Internet banking topped the chart for the fourth consecutive year. Previously, visiting a branch was the most popular method followed by ATMs, the ABA said in a statement.

The mobile banking option jumped to 6 percent this year from 3 percent in 2010. That small -- but discernible and growing -- shift was driven mainly by consumers who are 18 to 34 years old, the survey found.

Nessa Feddis, ABA senior counsel and retail banking expert, said that consumers showed a "clear preference for the speed and convenience" of Internet and mobile banking, but that branches would continue to be an option for those who prefer them.

"These results show customers are embracing new technologies that make managing a bank account simpler, easier and more convenient, but that doesn't mean that the traditional bank branch is going anywhere," Feddis said.

The telephone survey of 1,000 U.S. adults was conducted Aug. 2 to 6, 2012, by Ipsos Public Affairs, a market research firm. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

What do you think of online or mobile banking? Have you begun using them as your preferred method of banking?

Follow me on Twitter: @marciegeff.

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2 Comments
edward mccain
November 26, 2012 at 8:28 am

wow! That’s a quick change due to technology!.. I myself use internet banking with comes to paying bills and online transfers but also go to the branch for passbook updates. I think banks should use such online surveys to know what their customers really want. survey tools like SoGoSurvey have various types of question including demographic. my cousin used it for her class project and was very satisfied