“There’s an app for that” is something that is often heard by individuals when it comes to different ways they can utilize their phone. Apps are a simple way to interface with companies or providers of a variety of services on a mobile platform. These apps often have a more mobile-friendly version of the services available through a website, or in some cases, services and features that are only accessible through the mobile version. With the continued increase in the usage of smartphones and mobile technology, it is not surprising that financial institutions have begun embracing the concept of making sure they have a robust app to accompany their services.
Who is using their bank and financial advisor’s apps? Are apps being embraced more than websites? Spectrem Group sought answers to those questions in our recent research and found some of the answers surprising. Over twenty percent of wealthy investors indicate that they have increased usage of their bank’s app in the past year, while only seven percent have increase usage of their financial advisor’s app in the past year. That percentage increases among young investors, with a third of Millennials having increased usage of their bank’s app, and 17 percent have increased usage of their financial advisor’s app.
Usage of websites are similar, with 19 percent of investors increasing their usage of their bank’s website, while nine percent have increased their usage of their financial advisor’s website. Age is less of a factor when it comes to usage of websites, with a similar percentage of younger investors using their bank and financial advisor’s websites as older investors.
Knowing that between a quarter and up to a third of investors are using their bank’s app more, it is important to understand what they are doing on the app. The most common action done on bank apps is checking account balances, which is conducted by over half of wealthy investors. Forty-one percent of investors are transferring funds between their accounts, while 36 percent are depositing money into their account using their bank app. A quarter of investors are using their bank app to look at their statements and confirmations.
What about services that investors are looking for, but are not provided? Regardless of the platform, app or website, the most common service that investors would like to have available but do not is the ability to view their tax information and having the opportunity to create a custom view of their accounts.
Apps and websites are a method of allowing investors access to services and tools that they desire. This also allows investors to have a more self-service approach to certain components of their financial management. For those investors that are not comfortable with mobile technology, increasing usage of websites would still provide access to these services and tools. For those investors who enjoy utilizing an app platform, it is likely these platforms will continue to evolve and deliver increasing levels of support and services.