Canadian Mobile Banking Puzzlement: Parsing the Poll Numbers
A year ago, KPMG, the big accounting firm, reported that 15% of Canadians had banked via a mobile device. A couple weeks ago research outfit Forrester reported that mobile banking in Canada was “surging” as users jumped from 1% in 2008 to 9% in 2010. And now a brand new report is out from TD Canada Trust, a large bank, that emphatically said only 8% of Canadians actually use mobile banking.
How many is it again? One reality is that – probably – at bottom the numbers are not as different as they seem. Probably use of mobile banking in Canada is in the high single digits and, probably, too, the percentage in any population sample varies sharply depending upon the ages of users.
Young wireless subscribers are much more likely to use mobile banking: “The TD Canada Trust Everyday Banking Poll also found that 18-to-34 year old Canadians are the most likely to use a mobile app for banking (19% versus 8% nationally), for activities such as: checking account balances (18% versus 7% nationally), making transfers (10% versus 4% nationally) and paying bills (8% versus 4% overall).”
As for the barriers inhibiting the spread of mobile banking, the TD Canada Trust report elaborated: “The majority of Canadians who don’t use mobile banking, say it’s because they don’t have a smartphone (66%) or they perceive it to be unsafe (14%) or too expensive (12%).”
The other reality: despite those consumer hesitations, financial services companies in Canada are braced for very fast mobile adoption. “Mobile banking is still in its infancy, but its popularity has grown exponentially as more and more Canadians switch to smartphones,” said Raymond Chun, senior vice president at TD Canada Trust