Survey: Online Banking Surges, Mobile Lags

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A new survey released Thursday by the American Bankers Association revealed that, for the first time, most Americans 55 years and older prefer to do their banking online rather than at branches or automated teller machines.

The study found that 57% of bank customers 55 years and older said that the Internet was their preferred method of banking, compared to only 20% in 2010. Among all adults, 62% of adults said they like online banking best, up from 36% last year.

The results also showed that mobile banking is unlikely to become the most-preferred method anytime soon. Only 1% of the adults surveyed said that liked mobile banking best, down from 3% last year. Even among younger consumers ages 16 to 34, only 4% said that they preferred mobile banking to other methods.

Only 20% of respondents said they preferred using bank branches, compared to 25% last year, while only 8% said that favored ATMs, down from 15% last year, and preferring to bank by mail dropped from 8% to 6% this year.

Also waning in popularity are telephone banking and banking by mail and mobile banking. Only 3% said that they like telephone banking best, down from 6%, while only 6% said that they prefer mail, down from 8%.

Ipsos Public Affairs polled 2,000 adults online from Aug. 12 to Aug. 14. ABA has done the survey since 1998 and until this year it had always conducted it over the telephone.

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