Desktop banking is on the decline as mobile devices become the tool of choice for managing finances online. Smartphone Internet use to conduct banking transactions was up 10% over last year with 28% of respondents saying they used their phone to bank.
This kind of movement indicates the beginning of a sea change in the way people access the Internet, according to the Mercator Advisory Group. The research and advisory service for the consumer payments industry foresees the portability and convenience of mobile devices causing home computer use to drop even further in the coming years.
Getting information on smartphones, making transactions on computers
Routine account maintenance, such as checking account balances, looking at statements, and reviewing transactions are the most popular online banking activities. However, survey data shows that people choose to do different things according to the method they use to access their accounts.
Although 86% of consumers access bank information online, 76% say they only do so using their computer—never their mobile device. And while 73% say they transfer funds or pay bills online, only 9% of them make those transactions via mobile device. The other 64% prefer to use their computer.
Among smartphone owners, 35% check their account balances using their phones. Tablet owners also check account activity on the go; 29% of them check their balances using their tablets. Tablet owners are less shy about making transactions online. Four out of five tablet owners report paying bills electronically.
Payment due: biller or bank?
When it comes to paying bills online, consumers generally have two choices: using their bank’s website, or using the biller’s website. The survey shows that going through the biller’s website is the more popular way to go. While 59% pay the biller directly, 51% choose to use their bank’s website to pay.
Overwhelmingly, people still use their desktop computers to pay bills. Less than 10% of respondents use a tablet or smartphone when paying their monthly bills. Of those, tablets are used to pay bills more frequently than smartphones. Twenty-three percent of tablet owners pay bills using tablets; 13% of smartphone owners use their phones to pay bills.
This survey was conducted online by the Mercator Advisory Group between October 23and November 2, 2012. A total of 1,008 responses were received from people ages 18 and older.