Mobile device users bank via phone the old fashioned way

IDC Financial Insights Community –

In October IDC Financial Insights conducted a web poll of 385 individuals to determine if they were users of mobile banking. Fifty three of the respondents did indicate that they have in fact interacted with their financial institution using their mobile device. That would seem like great news for heads of retail banking who are finally starting to see some traction in usage and acceptance of mobile banking. However, what is interesting is that the vast majority of people who have used their mobile device, simply called into the bank's toll free number. The breakdown was as follows (respondents could choose more than one method):

61.2% said that they had called the banks toll free number using their mobile device

40.8% said that they used the mobile browser

17.5% said that they used a downloadable application

15.5% said that they used SMS / text messaging

It seems like every day new statistics are released around the preferences consumers have around mobile banking. What may not be as clear is the main purpose people use their mobile device is still for making a phone call!

What is also interesting is that age was not a huge factor when determining whether or not the individual dialed into the toll free number. This survey was broken down into three age brackets; 18-30, 31-49 and over 50. The following is a breakdown of how people answered based on age:



Over 50


Called toll free number





Used mobile browser





Used downloaded application





Used SMS / text messaging





So as we can see, across all demographics, calling the toll free number was the preferred way to interact with their financial institution using the mobile device. Age begins to differentiate as we look at other platforms however. When we look at those under 30, they are almost 7 times more likely to use SMS than those over 50. Clearly growing up using SMS resonates with these individuals. The browser however seems to be the preferred digital delivery of financial data amongst the respondents.

Sometimes things are as obvious as the nose on your face. Ask most in the industry what the preferred method of using mobile banking is and the answer will likely run the gammit from SMS, to browser, to downloaded applications - but very few will point out that the phone is still our preferred way to get information on the go.

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