87.9% Of U.S. Adults Do Not Use Mobile Banking. Do Your Members?

This week, CreditUnions.com looks at best practices to make the most of mobile and online strategies.


In preparing content for this week on CreditUnions.com, I came across an interesting stat in a blog by core provider FLEX. The blog cited a 2015 survey that found 87.9% of U.S. adults did not use mobile banking because they felt their banking needs were being met without it.

That begs the question of how to move members who are satisfied with what they have to new channels that might or might not meet their needs?

One way is to make new channels as efficient and easy to use as the more established ones. And that's exactly what the credit unions profiled this week on CreditUnions.com are doing.

In "4 Ways To Deliver A Superior Experience In The Virtual World," writer Erik Payne looks at how four credit unions are using new delivery channels and transaction capabilities to exceed member expectations. Online delivery channels are giving members 24/7 access to their finances, and these cooperatives demonstrate how differing resources and member preferences mean not all credit unions are interested in implementing the same delivery channels and online transaction capabilities.

At Interra Credit Union mobile banking is a way to build loyalty and engagement, especially among coveted millennial and Gen X members and potential members. That's why the Indiana institution rolled out a mobile loan application platform in April 2015 that extends and unifies it digital presence. And in little more than a year, Interra has increased remote loan applications by 50%. Callahan contributor Susan Levi Wallach has the story — read it today.

Even the best-planned conversion of an online and mobile banking platform can go off the rails. What a credit union does to righten the train shows character and strength. That's what VyStar Credit Union learned when it underwent an online banking conversion in in early February 2016. Today, the credit union has the benefit of hindsight to realize what it did right in the immediate aftermath of the conversion and how it would improve things in the future. Learn more in this Q&A with Judy Walz, the credit union’s senior vice president of marketing and planning.

Who's using mobile payments? What's the typical age of a smartphone user? What percentage of U.S. consumers use a phone to pay at a merchant location? Learn all this and more in the CreditUnion's Graphic Of The Week, "Mobile Payments On The Move."

Finally, best practices in the digital age aren't applicable to only new products and services. When Redstone Federal Credit Union set out to deepen existing relationships through nurturing emails, the Alabama credit union hadn’t launched a major new product in a decade. In May 2014, the credit union used its marketing automation platform to drive up usage of two cash-back checking account and earned of a return to the tune of 12,500 new checking accounts. Redstone now has a new appreciation for  powerful tools and actionable data. Senior writer Marc Rapport has the full story in a Q&A with Betsy Pruitt, Redstone’s online marketing manager. Learn more in "4 Emails Pave The Path To Marketing Success."

Happy Reading!


July 11, 2016


  • I endorse the premise of this article – credit unions need to make new channels (i.e. mobile) as efficient and easy to use as the more established ones (i.e. online and ATM). But I believe the title is misleading. It is not the case that 87.9% of us do not use mobile banking. The Fed stated back in March 2015 that 39% of us used mobile banking 4-5 times per month. Assume that number has risen by 33% since then, based on historical trend. The survey cited is saying that, of those who do not use mobile banking, 89.7% responded with a reason that their needs are met using other channels. That’s not a bad thing. When you need cash, mobile banking will not suffice. Many people still prefer to have a larger screen to see their checking account transactions, and to cob through the list of their bill payees, no matter how slick the mobile app is at providing the same information. Granted, your point about improving mobile banking rings true in several areas. Most RDC implementations still result in checks being held for further review, with a percentage of RDC transactions rejected for unreadable MICR or incorrect endorsement; it’s nearly unheard of for a check deposited at an ATM to be rejected. Mobile account opening, up until recently a very rare sight among credit unions, is a great way to attract a demographic whose needs are not being met through existing channels.
    Lou Grilli
  • Thank you for the thoughtful comment, Lou. You offer many good points. Thank you, as well, for reading CreditUnions.com and taking the time to add to the conversation.
    Rebecca Wessler
  • I question the validity of mobile banking usage data sited as this 2015 Consumers and Mobile Financial Services report by the federal reserve looking at 2014 survey data states key findings that are contradictory: • Mobile phones are in widespread use. —Eighty-seven percent of the U.S. adult population has a mobile phone, consistent with 2013. —Seventy-one percent of mobile phones are smartphones (Internet-enabled), up from 61 percent a year earlier. • The ubiquity of mobile phones is changing the way consumers access financial services. —Thirty-nine percent of all mobile phone owners with a bank account have used mobile banking in the 12 months prior to the survey, up from 33 percent in 2013 and 29 percent in 2012. —Fifty-two percent of smartphone owners with a bank account have used mobile banking in the 12 months prior to the survey, up from 51 percent a year earlier. —Among those mobile phone users with bank accounts who do not currently use mobile banking, 11 percent think that they will probably or definitely use it within the next 12 months, down from 12 percent a year earlier. —The most common use of mobile banking is to check account balances or recent transactions (94 percent of mobile banking users). —Among mobile banking users, transferring money between an individual’s own accounts (61 percent) and receiving an alert (e.g., a text message, push notification, or e-mail) from their bank (57 percent) are the second- and third-most common uses of mobile banking. —Fifty-one percent of mobile banking users have deposited a check using their mobile phone in the 12 months prior to the survey, up from 38 percent in 2013. —Among mobile banking users, the frequency of use has increased slightly, from a median of four times per month in 2013 to five times per month in 2014. This frequency was five times per month in 2012. http://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/consumers-and-mobile-financial-services-report-201503.pdf
  • Thank you for offering this additional information. We welcome all perspectives on CreditUnions.com, and comments like yours keeps us on our toes. We appreciate you reading our article and responding.
    Rebecca Wessler