Mobile banking apps have become one of the most popular self-service channels in banking, according to the initial findings of an online survey conducted by Harris Poll for mobile-first fintech solutions firm Entersekt, fielded to better understand US consumers' attitudes toward mobile app-based banking and payments. This article is copyright 2019 The Best Customer Guide.

Mobile banking app usage figures are available from a number of sources, but Entersekt's screening questions nevertheless yielded interesting results. Its findings show that about three in five mobile device owners (59%) report using their banking app at least once a week.

Apps for mobile payments are less widely used than banking apps, with only a third of mobile device owners (33%) using them on a weekly basis. It seems that most Americans are familiar with payment apps, but that they have yet to become a feature of daily life to the extent that banking apps have. While nearly three-quarters of mobile device owners (71%) have used mobile payment apps, only 7% use payment apps daily compared to 20% who use banking apps daily. Entersekt's Atlanta-based chief commercial officer Dewald Nolte explained: "No payment app has managed to reach a tipping point in the United States where acceptance is guaranteed. This has slowed adoption, together with lagging contactless infrastructure and issues around interoperability."

Over two-thirds of mobile device owners (68%) say they have more than one app for banking and payments, with 37% having three or more. Juggling so many apps, a majority of regular banking app users (those using banking apps once a month or more) understandably found the idea of an all-in-one banking and payment app attractive. Over two-thirds (68%) of regular banking app users would "like to do all banking and payments via one single mobile app." A similar majority (67%) claim they would be less likely to use cash or physical credit cards if they had such an app. The lure of an all-in-one combination app is stronger among younger adults (18 to years) who regularly used banking apps: just over three-quarters (76%) want one, compared to only 50% of those aged and over.

"Banking apps are the perfect launchpad for new payment capabilities," said Gerhard Oosthuizen, chief technology officer at Entersekt. "Demand for specialized payment apps isn't going away, especially for retail brands with superior loyalty programs, better-directed promotions, and on-the-go experiences like low-friction peer-to-peer payments, self-checkout, and in-app ordering. Still, most people use very few of those apps regularly, while banking apps are a leading category, both in downloads and active users.

The survey was conducted online in January 2019 among 2,076 US adults ages 18+, among whom 1,928 are mobile device owners, including 1,362 who use banking apps at least once a month.