In a research note today, eMarketer analyst Nicole Perrin stated she expects 59.6 percent of U.S. consumers to use some form of digital banking next year. That estimate follows a growth of the fintech market, which includes B2B vendors and service providers that offer various platforms for banks and retailers.
But that doesn’t mean the greenback is dead. A recent report released this month shows a strong preference for using cash.
In the eMarketer report, Perrin said in 2017, 150.7 million U.S. adults “will access their bank, credit card, or brokerage accounts at least once a month via digital channels.” The analyst noted that by age cohort, “older users are less likely to be digital bankers.” She said that of the consumers aged between 55 and 64, 52.4 percent will use digital banking. And for people over 65, one in three will do some form of online banking.
“Those trends are even more evident when looking at mobile banking behaviors,” the analyst said. “A mere 7.5 percent of the over-65 population will be mobile bankers in 2017.”
Perrin explained that “older users are still somewhat less likely to have a smartphone, and they also don’t feel as comfortable with the devices yet, especially when it comes to applications like banking where they want a high degree of security.” She said that older banking users are also “more likely to have more complex needs,” because they tend to “use a wider variety of banking products” they prefer desktop computers.
The report noted that consumers between 18 and 44 will have a higher rate of adoption — “especially when it comes to mobile banking,” Perrin said. “Millennials in particular are the heaviest mobile phone banking users — next year 89.6 percent of Millennials who bank online will do so via their phones. That figure is less than half for Baby Boomers.”
That said, Perrin was quick to note that mobile banking does not currently drive increases in digital banking. “And growth is tepid among younger Internet users, most of whom already conduct their banking via digital channels,” she said.
“But in the long-term, as seniors and Baby Boomers die off, mobile and digital banking are likely to become more synonymous,” Perrin added.
This shift toward digital banking — especially with mobile devices — has resulted in a burst of fintech start-ups, which raised about $1.2 billion in the first half of this year, according to several reports. This growth also mirrors the increase in online sales, which is expected to see double-digit gains this holiday shopping season.
Still, physical stores play a vital role, and garner about 90 percent of all retail sales. And despite the emergence of digital banking, ongoing use of credit cards and increased online transactions, cash remains king. According to the latest edition of the International Journal of Central Banking, scholars researched the habits of 18,000 global consumers in a longitudinal study and found that the percentage of all payment transactions done in cash ranged from 46 to 82 percent — depending upon the country of origin.