Millennials’ Mobile Banking Usage Is Now Close to 70%

canstockphoto0407958For Gen Y, the rallying cry was, “I want my MTV.”

For Millennials, the cry might as well be, “I want my mobile banking.”

About 67% of Millennials now use mobile banking, according to a study released today by the Federal Reserve. This compares to 18% for those consumers aged 60 or over. And the usage gap is widening.

These differences by age reflect both the higher share of younger age groups who are smartphone owners, as well as differences in the propensity to use mobile banking for those with a given type of phone. Among smartphone owners, this pattern of higher mobile banking adoption for the younger age groups is still very apparent.

Interestingly, the Fed data shows that mobile banking is not necessarily dampening the use of other banking channels.

Even among those smartphone owners who utilize mobile banking services, many still need or want to use other banking channels. For example, a visit to an ATM or branch may be necessary to withdraw cash, and visiting a branch or talking with a customer service representative may be preferred ways of resolving problems.

Respondents were asked about their use of five banking channels (branch, ATM, telephone, online, and mobile), and the answers provide a fuller picture of how smartphone users interact with their bank or credit union. In the prior 12 months, 83 percent of smartphone owners with bank accounts visited a branch and spoke with a teller, 82 percent used an ATM, 82 percent used online banking, 53 percent used mobile banking, and 29 percent used telephone banking.

mobile banking usage - fed study 033016Whether this is a reflection of the failure of mobile banking apps to offer enough functionality or the genuine desire for consumers to use other banking channels is unclear. What is clear is that mobile banking usage continues to hockey stick higher — and that’s even beyond the Millennial demographic.

See the Fed’s (somewhat hyped) video on the survey results below:

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JJ is the Executive Editor & Publisher of Bank Innovation and CEO of Royal Media, its parent company. He can be reached at or 212-564-8972.

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