The Latest Trends in Digital Banking Usage

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D3 Banking’s recent survey online survey supports that digital banking platforms should be dedicated to an improved user experience and continuous innovation.

The evolution from bricks to clicks continues for the financial services industry, as evidenced by the shuttering of more than 1,700 bank and credit union branches in the 12-month period that concluded last June. This represents the biggest decline on record, according to the Wall Street Journal — and a new survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of D3 Banking provides a clear view as to where the missing branch traffic may be going. 

According to the survey, 54 percent of Americans used online banking at least once a week over the past 12 months, compared with 30 percent accessing mobile banking at the same rate during that time period. The survey also provided a look at what services Americans want to see financial institutions (FIs) provide within those digital banking channels.

Of those who have used digital banking in the past 12 months (digital banking users), 7 in 10 say it's important that financial institutions offer mobile deposits as part of their digital offerings, while 66 percent say the same about P2P services. Just over half of digital banking users feel it's important that financial institutions offer reports on spending trends and habits (52%), the ability to check their most recent transactions (52%) or balances (52%) without entering user name and password or mobile account opening (51%) through digital banking.

The Most Common Struggles
What may be most astounding about the move of traffic from the branch to the digital channels is that this has been the case even though 68 percent of digital banking users say they have been frustrated with their digital banking experience. Some of the struggles faced by digital banking users have been around some of the most commonly used functions within digital banking. For example, 48 percent of users reported that they typically struggle with something when using digital banking; some common tasks include remembering passwords (23%), entering bank and/or personal information (14%) and accessing balances and/or recent transactions (12%).

Additionally, 32 percent of digital banking users say they would switch institutions if another offered easier to use digital banking services. As noted in previous 270 Degree View blogs, the challenges faced by FIs are non-trivial. They must mitigate obstacles presented by legacy back-office systems, regulatory pressure and increasing demand while dealing with the customer and members who expect their FI’s user experience to rival the Instagrams and Ubers of the world.

Overall, banks and credit unions should be encouraged by these survey results, but there is still much work to be done. Consumers have shown – and the survey results indicate – a proclivity toward institutions that take digital banking seriously. The digital banking platform of today should be one that is dedicated to an improved user experience with the help of advanced analytics, and the road ahead must be paved with continuous innovation built on an architecture that is scalable, configurable and extensible.

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