Canadians rapidly adopting mobile banking: Report

A new report by Solutions Research Group shows paying by plastic may become obsolete. Here are the numbers that back the claim up.

smartphoneA new study from Toronto’s Solutions Research Group (SRG) has found that Canadians are increasingly doing their banking on the go, and suggests that paying by plastic – whether debit or credit card – is destined to become obsolete.

The 2011 “Mobile Money & Banking Report” found that more than a third (38%) of all Canadian smartphone users currently use a banking app, including more than half (54%) of all iPhone users.

According to the report, the number of Canadians using a mobile banking app has shot up from zero just 14 months ago to more than 2.5 million today. The TD Canada Trust app is the most popular with Canadians, followed by CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank and BMO.

Based on a survey of 419 smartphone users 18+, the study found that 63% of banking app users are “very satisfied” with the mobile banking product and an additional 33% are “somewhat satisfied.”

Ease and convenience were the most cited reasons for banking apps’ popularity, with verbatim quotes including “It is easy to use and allows me what I need to do on a daily basis,” and “It is fast and efficient, allows me to access all of the info I need to without going to the bank.”

The SRG report also indicates that Canadians would love to go a step further by ditching their debit and credit cards and using their smartphone to complete everyday transactions such as gasoline purchases.

“The overall point is mobile money will be here before we know it, despite lingering security concerns,” said SRG founder Kaan Yigit. “People value their time above all else, and mobile money and banking offers unmatched convenience and saves time.”

According to Yigit, virtually every consumer under 35 now carries a mobile device everywhere they go. “This means the eventual death of the plastic cards we carry in our wallets.”

This, said Yigit, will have significant repercussions for marketers who must ensure their brand fits in a future world where couponing, loyalty and financial transactions will be centred around an “always-with-me” device. “Those that can make it really easy and seamless for the consumer will stand to benefit disproportionately,” he said.

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