Smartphones Shaping What Consumers Expect from Banks

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People expect service, simplicity and the ability to share socially wherever they happen to live, especially if they wield a smartphone.

That's the conclusion of a survey published Wednesday by payments processor First Data, which found more than half of shoppers in 10 countries want to be able to move among their computers, phones and retail stores with ease.

The expectations extend to banking.76% of U.S. consumers expect to be able to access their financial accounts in real time, compared with 71% of consumers worldwide. More than half of consumers globally bank online via a computer, while about 25% use their smartphones to view their accounts.

Consumers also want advertising and other messages from banks and other businesses to reflect their transaction histories and preferences. Overall, 58% of consumers expect their bank to do a better job of considering their individual circumstances, according to the survey, which found that consumers in the U.S., China and Mexico have the least tolerance for technology that's not intuitive and easy to use.

The most important predictor of consumers' expectations is whether they use a smartphone, First Data found. While mobile phone penetration neared 100% in the countries surveyed, smartphone use varies by location, with China (92%), Singapore (89%) and the Middle East (80%) showing the highest use of the devices.

"Much of this change in expectations is driven by the proliferation of smartphones, which have fundamentally altered how consumers around the world go about their daily lives," Larry Drury, First Data's chief marketing officer, said in a news release.

Consumers also are taking to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other social media to tell others about their experiences good, and especially bad - according to the survey, which found that half of consumers, on average, post reviews online.

People in China (83%), India (74%) and Germany (60%) tend to post reviews more frequently than their counterparts in the U.S. and the rest of Europe, according to the survey, which did not detail percentages of postings in America.

Nearly half of people surveyed say they prefer companies that use social media and technology smartly, the survey found.

The online survey of roughly 4,000 consumers who had a bank account or either a credit or debit card was conducted in the U.S., Brazil, China, Germany, India, Mexico, the Middle East, Poland, Singapore and the U.K.

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Comments (1)
Interesting findings. I think this is just the beginning. Soon people will be able to pay through their phone, and later, I imagine, have their phone tell them how to manage money.
Posted by David Johnson-Igra | Wednesday, June 19 2013 at 8:13PM ET
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