PNC and Key Both Talk ‘Mobile-First’ Customers

  • Philip Ryan
  • October 16, 2014
  • 0

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / badboo01PNC Bank and Key Bank both discussed mobile-first customers on their earnings calls yesterday, but only in their respective Q&A sessions, responding, as it happens, to nearly the exact same question.

Here was PNC, per Seeking Alpha:

Unidentified Analyst

… And last question, your mobile banking channel, do you have the percentage of customers that are using your mobile to banking channel and where do you expect that number to go hopefully by the end of 2015?

William S. Demchak – Chairman, President and CEO

So we are making disclosure on all the digital, all the non-predominantly. 47% of our customers are predominantly non-branched clients so we have 1 percentage — 36% of our deposits are now non-teller, so either the ATM or the mobile phone. And that number has grown leaps and bounds but I would tell you it is below what some of our peers do today. So, I would expect that we could get upwards of 50%. We were little bit slower than some of the very large banks in the roll out of image ATMs. So we are playing a little bit of catch up against some of the leaders in that space even while we are far ahead of some of our smaller competitors.

Bank of America described its mobile deposits as being 11% and PNC is likely around half that, since its mobile deposits were reportedly at 5% not long ago. The term “predominantly non-branched” is likely another way of saying “mobile-first,” which would mean nearly half of PNC’s customers are mobile-first. PNC reported last year it had shuttered branches, at least partially as the result of self-service channel growth, but did not bring that up this year.

Here was Key, meanwhile:

John Hearn – RBC Capital Markets

… And then just as a quick follow-up, with your mobile banking adoption, could you speak to just the percentage of customers that are in the mobile channel currently and what are you expecting as we look forward, maybe to 2015.

Dennis Devine – Co-President, Community Bank

This is Dennis Devine. We’ve seen north of a 30% year-over-year increase in the activity of our mobile clients. You’ve seen us introduce very competitive and strong solutions across not just the core mobile platforms that you would traditionally expect, but across an expanded set as the devices that our clients are using as we extend into windows and Droid and Amazon capabilities.

And so, as building on Beth and Don’s comments from earlier, as Key looks at its ability, both to serve its clients and to reposition our business, to serve those clients in a cost-efficient and effective way, our digital investments really build upon mobile and so from a mobile-first perspective is the way we think about serving many, many of our clients and on important part of our strategy is making sure that we’ve built up the talent to be able to do just that.

So we’ve seen substantial growth. There is no doubt it’s the most explosive source of client activity in our business over the course of the past year. We expect that to continue.

Key Bank closed nearly 50 branches in the last year and now counts 997. It also down 60 ATMs, and now numbers 1,290. There were no such hard numbers on mobile, but “explosive growth” and “many, many of our clients.”

It would be refreshing to see banks, especially banks as big as these — Key Bank has more than $90 billion in assets and PNC more than $300 billion —  bring up mobile, given its centrality to the banks’ futures, before the analysts ask.

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Philip Ryan is Senior Editor of Bank Innovation and Senior Director of INV Fintech. He began covering financial services in 2012 and has more than 15 years' experience in online journalism, which makes him quite old. He can be reached at

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