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TIPPING POINT

There are officially more people doing their weekly banking via mobile phones than branches

Reuters/Amir Cohen
Taking over.
By Ian Kar
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Mobile banking remains a technology in its infancy, but according to Javelin Strategy & Research, it has already eclipsed physical branches in terms of the percentage of US customers using it to take care of their weekly banking needs.

Users aren’t just turning to mobile apps and browsers for handling simple services like checking their balance, either. A Javelin study last year found that more Americans are now using digital devices—including smartphones and tablets, as well as desktop computers—rather than visiting local bank branches to apply for credit cards, loans, and investment accounts.

These shifts, along with cost pressures on banks, have helped to accelerate branch closings across the country.

It’s not just a US trend. As the FT recently noted (paywall), bank branches in the UK have been closing at an increasing rate over the past few years.

Perhaps what’s most remarkable about the mobile banking trend right now is how rapidly it’s spreading. According to Javelin, among Americans who used mobile banking in 2015, 39% only began using the technology in the past year.

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