App-based banking is becoming more common

A survey by the Canadian Bankers Association shows clients are getting more comfortable with digital shifts.

Mobile app-based banking is continuing to eat away at the total banking share.

The proclivity of Canadians to digitally migrate is one of several insights revealed in a recent survey of 4,000 Canadians commissioned by the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA), which reveals that 65% of Canadians have used mobile app-based banking in the past year, up 9% over 2018 levels and 21% higher than it was in 2016.

A similar trend is happening when it comes to overall digital channel usage: 78% of Canadians are using digital channels to conduct most of their banking transactions, up from 76% in 2018 and 68% in 2016.

Online banking is still the most common way people bank, with 49% of respondents revealing that online banking is now their most common banking method – 20% higher than app-based banking, the second ranked method, although that gap is closing because of age-related adoption.

Mobile app-based banking continues to rise, led by Gen Z and Millennial uptake, with 46% of Gen Z and 37% of Millennials reporting that apps are their leading banking method, as opposed to 29% for all demographics groups combined.

What’s more, 75% of Canadians intend to keep the digital banking habits developed during the pandemic, such as tap & pay contactless payments, which experienced a 10% satisfaction boost from 2018 levels, to 84%.

And 46% of Canadians increased their use of online banking in the last few years, particularly among consumers under the age of 30 (58%), with brands such as EQ Bank and Simplii Financial catering to these types of consumers.

“The pandemic proved to be a major catalyst for change as Canadians moved more of their daily activities online, including a large-scale uptake of digital banking and contactless transaction methods,” says Anthony G. Ostler, president and CEO, CBA.

As technology evolves and changes the way we live and work, the digital expectations of consumers are rising and banks are delivering on ease of use and security: 90% consumers believe that new technologies have made banking a lot more convenient, and 87% of customers trust their bank to protect personal information.

The survey also covered the next frontier of money in the digital world: cyrptocurrency. According to the CBA, consumers are wary about decentralized currencies, due to a mix of unfamiliarity and a lack of trust – despite the supposedly secure nature of the blockchain, $540 million USD in digital currency was revealed to have taken off the Ronin blockchain last week, the largest and latest in a number of crypto hacks. However, a not-significant number of Canadian remain curious: 36% of consumers expect to be using an alternative currency in five years.

The Canadian Bankers Association represents 60 domestic and foreign banks.