In our first blog in this series, we shared an overview of the results of our recent survey, which collected feedback from 1,000 U.S. consumers to determine their preferences when it comes payments and how they want to interact with their financial institution. The results are clear: American consumers have come accustomed to the speed and simplicity their mobile device provides and banks should plan accordingly.

Digital account opening is expected

In our survey, we discovered that over half of respondents choose to engage with their bank on their mobile phone via a banking application rather than at a branch or via the bank’s website. Additionally, respondents who opened a new checking account within the last 18 months, 43% did so via a mobile application, while 27% opened one at a branch and 26% did so via the bank’s website. Further, in Entrust’s Great Payments Disruption Report, which published earlier this year, 63% of U.S. respondents indicated the most important factor when choosing a bank is the ease and availability of the institution’s mobile application.

If you think about it, all of this makes perfect sense. There are an estimated 307 million smartphone users in the United States, which is just over 90% of the population. Whether it’s from Netflix, Amazon or Apple, new technology that delivers instant and seamless ways to interact with the world has shifted consumer expectations. This means financial institutions need to start providing similar experiences across their clients’ financial services lifecycle.

In digital banking and payments, security is tables stakes; speed is a differentiator

When we asked U.S. consumers what the most important benefits are when using digital wallets, besides the ease of use and convenience, 33% cited it is more secure to use a digital wallet than carrying around a physical wallet. Yet, 16% are worried about the security of those digital wallets. Security is certainly in consumers’ minds, and, if executed well, a point of differentiation for financial institutions.

Banks who want to stay competitive must align their offering to these expectations because other financial institutions, particularly fintechs and neobanks, do offer instant and seamless experiences as part of their overall value proposition. And this should cover the whole customer journey: from the first interaction to account opening, card issuance, branch services, card management, transactions and everything in between.

To learn more about U.S. consumer payment preferences, download the infographic.