Insights

Don’t Fear the Reaper: Tax Day Is Coming, but Mobile Banking Is Helping Consumers Balance Their Books
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Don’t Fear the Reaper: Tax Day Is Coming, but Mobile Banking Is Helping Consumers Balance Their Books

Let’s face it, the weeks before Tax Day in the U.S. are often a time when many consumers may wish they had consumed a little less and saved a little more. It’s also a time when taxpayers take stock of their personal finances, begin to plan budgets for the rest of the year, and often look to banking tools for guidance.

And today’s digital age puts those tools right in the palm of our hands, helping everyone from busy moms who juggle the demands of multitasking to small business owners managing their finances—all with the click of a button or a swipe of a finger.

Nielsen’s Q4 2014 Mobile Wallet Report, conducted online and in English, looked at mobile banking and found that many consumers have embraced going digital as a way to financial freedom.

When it comes to general perceptions of budget planning apps, more than one-third of mobile bankers (34%) strongly agree that these apps are a necessity to track all of their expenditures, and 31% of mobile bankers strongly agree that using budget planning apps saves time. Additionally, 28% of these consumers strongly agree that budget planning apps have helped change their spending habits.

So who is the mobile banker?

According to the report, mobile bankers skew female: 54% are women and 46% are men. Over one-fourth of mobile bankers are Millennials 25-34 years old, while 19% are 55 years old and older. Mobile bankers are also diverse: 13% are Hispanics, 11% are African-American, and 6% are Asian-American. Eighty-eight percent of mobile bankers have a personal bank account, and 11% have both personal and business accounts.

When it comes to the reasons for mobile banking, ease of use is a strong selling point. In fact, 84% of mobile bankers agree that the top reason for using mobile banking is easy access when on the go, while 82% agree that it saves time. Fifty-nine percent of mobile bankers agree that they would use their mobile device for everything possible related to banking if they could.

So what activities are mobile bankers using their devices for? Seventy-nine percent say they use their devices to check their balances, 63% use them to transfer money between their own accounts, and 62% said they used them to check their statements and transaction history.

Banking habits of mobile bankers vary, however, when it comes to usage. Nearly one-third (32%) of mobile bankers said they use both the Internet on their mobile device and their banking app equally. Twenty-six percent manage nearly all of their banking needs using the app on their mobile device, while 27% primarily use the Internet on a non-mobile device to manage their banking.

Methodology

The insights from Nielsen’s Mobile Wallet Report were gathered from general population sample 18+ years and older and consisted of 3,606 respondents who have used their smartphone or tablet for mobile shopping, paying or banking in the past 30 days. The respondents completed an online, self-administered survey in October 2014. The survey was conducted in English, and included respondents from key multicultural segments, including U.S. Hispanic, Asian-American and African-American markets.