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What Do Millennials Want from Their Bank Apps?
Thursday, March 10, 2016 6:30 AM

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By Brian Bacon, SNL Financial

For the past several weeks, industry experts have offered insights about analyzing internal credit union data for the purposes of targeted marketing/messaging and asset liability management. However, credit unions can also look to global market analytics to help with making decisions involving consumer behavior and preferences for financial services. In this weeks’ article, SNL Financial shares indicators of consumer preferences based on survey analytics.

Across the board, Millennials (age 18-35) are more likely than other respondents to indicate that features are missing from their mobile bank app, according to our Mobile Money consumer survey.

The feature most often considered missing by Millennial bank app users is savings account rates (19 percent for Millennials compared to 12 percent for all other age groups). A close second was a mortgage calculator, a feature in which older respondents were far less interested. Deltas were also fairly large for paying bills and ATM locators.

Also, there are a few features that Millennials are more likely to use. Person-to-person payments, a feature requested by both Millennials and other respondents, is quickly becoming an industry standard. As six of the largest U.S. banks are members of the clearXchange service, smaller banks may struggle without a person-to-person payment feature.

Similar to their interest in mortgage calculators, Millennials would like to see mortgage rate comparisons as part of their bank app. All three mortgage-related features listed were selected more often among Millennials than other respondents.

Millennial bank app users, especially older Millennials, indicated that they would use a feature that allowed them to view checking account rates. This interest in account rates may be tied to the interest in branchless bank accounts that offer higher interest rates or even interest-earning checking accounts.

Not only do Millennials have an increased desire to see more features

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available in their mobile bank app, when asked about switching banks to receive desired features, Millennials were more likely than other respondents to consider the switch.

While Millennials are similar to other respondents in their use of bank app features, especially the commonly used features such as check balance (used by 85 percent of millennial survey respondents, compared to 86 percent of other respondents) or review transactions (63 percent compared to 66 percent), other bank app features show a difference between Millennials and other generations.

Of the bank app users surveyed, Millennials are more likely to use the branch/ATM locator compared to older generations (27 percent compared to 15 percent), person-to-person payment (18 percent compared to 11 percent), personal finance/budgeting (17 percent compared to 10 percent), and click-to-call customer service (13 percent compared to 8 percent) bank app features.

The use of mobile bank apps among Millennials will change over time as their needs and the features available evolve. For instance, interest in mortgage-related features follows the broader market trend of Millennials becoming homeowners.

Since 1987, SNL has been recognized as the gold standard for banking-industry data and insight. Always the leading provider of business and peer intelligence for money centers and regional banks, SNL has become an indispensable source for community banks and credit unions. SNL data and analytical tools help financial institutions grow revenue, manage expenses, fine-tune performance, optimize branch footprints and pricing strategies, target marketing initiatives, and save time on reporting.

SNL Financial's Mobile Money survey was conducted online in February across a nationwide sample of smartphone bank app using adults 18+, with n=4,371. Survey results have a margin of error of +/- 1.5 ppts at the 95 percent confidence level. Click here for an Excel version of the survey question results.