Online banking has been far and away the most vital touchpoint in an FI’s relationship with its customers for the past decade. But the rapid proliferation of mobile banking has irrevocably shifted consumers’ expectations around interaction with their primary financial institution: The chore of financial management is now implanted in our everyday lives, wherever we go. The trend toward mobile leaves digital strategists with an important question: Where does online banking fit? FIs looking to preserve the utility of online banking for an increasingly mobile audience must move beyond thinking about it as a transaction processor and instead prioritize features that highlight the characteristics unique to the online experience on PCs and laptops.

Key questions addressed in this report:

  • Where does online banking fit with the rise of mobile banking?
  • Will it remain a stalwart of customer interaction in the next five years, or will its purpose shift?
  • How can FIs design the online banking experience to best serve and augment an omnichannel experience in which mobile is increasingly the gateway?
  • What features and approaches will work best to maintain relevance of the online channel among Gen Y and older consumers?

Companies Mentioned: Apple, BBVA, Capital One, Facebook, Lending Club, Venmo, Mint


The consumer data in this report is based primarily on information collected in two random-sample panels consisting of:

  • 8,525 consumers in an April/May 2015 online survey. The margin of sampling error is ±1.27%.
  • 3,000 consumers in a September 2015 online survey. The margin of sampling error is ±1.79%.

Longitudinal data is based on 31 random-sample panel surveys conducted between 2004 and 2015. Javelin instituted a number of methodological changes and improvements for this report:

  • All consumers vs. Internet users: Adjustments were made to include the segment of the population without Internet access, according to Pew Research data. Javelin surveys reach consumers with Internet access. In order to account for those without access to the survey, Javelin assumed the remainder of the population did not use online and mobile banking, and used branch, ATM, CSR, and IVR channels at the same rate as the survey population.
  • Consumers vs. households: Past Javelin forecasts have focused on household usage among those with primary or shared responsibility for managing household finances. This year’s forecast is a consumer forecast, and includes all US adults with a bank or credit union relationship.
  • Past 30 days vs. past year: In order to reflect the importance of frequent engagement in digital banking, Javelin adjusted the forecast from past-year usage to past-month.
  • Six channels vs. online banking only: As part of a review of Javelin’s 2004-2015 surveys, we included channel adoption for six banking channels, as opposed to previous reports, which focused only on online banking.

It is important to note that channel adoption is measured at the respondent’s self-identified primary financial institution. For more discussion of primary FI designation, please see Bank Switching: Combating ‘Silent Churn’ to Maximize Primary FI Status.16

The Moneyhawks Segmentation

Javelin’s retail banking customer segmentation incorporates scores of variables regarding demographics, banking behavior, and attitudes about relationships with FIs. Unlike approaches that use predetermined if/then rules regarding specific behaviors or demographic characteristics, Javelin employs sophisticated multivariate tools to develop a holistic segmentation based on multiple dimensions, resulting in homogeneous segments that differ from one another on such diverse criteria as how consumers prefer to interact with their FIs, what products and technologies they use, their needs and attitudes, and their financial value.