Mobile banking adoption lags in remote areas

Mobile banking adoption in remote (rural) areas lags that in non-remote (metropolitan) areas, according to survey data from the Federal Reserve. While the findings are unsurprising at face value, the data lends interesting clues into why adoption lags.

  • Among respondents who lived in remote areas of the US and had a mobile phone and a bank account, 32% had used mobile banking in the past 12 months. For people who lived in non-remote areas adoption was at 39%.
  • But it’s not because of access to mobile internet. In rural areas 69% of respondents said that mobile internet was either almost ‘always available’ or ‘not always available, but was available at convenient locations.’ In non-remote locations it was 72%.

There was a gap in the percentage of respondents in each group who knew if their financial institution offered mobile banking. In remote areas, 62% of respondents said that their bank or credit union offered mobile banking compared with 74% in non-rural areas. But among respondents who said their financial institution did not offer mobile banking the gap was much smaller — 6% in remote areas and 4% in non-remote areas.

The standout gap was in awareness of whether or not a financial institution offered mobile banking or not. In remote areas, a third of respondents said that they didn’t know if their institution offered mobile banking compared with 21% in non-remote areas.

The full version of this post is available on BI Intelligence, a subscription research service for professionals who work on the forefront of payments and digital technology

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