Canada is one of the most e-connected nations on the planet, so it should come as no surprise that online and mobile banking are growing in popularity. According to a recent Scotiabank poll, 85 per cent of us use our smartphones, tablets or personal computers to access our bank, mostly for simple tasks such as checking our balance and paying bills.
How often do we visit our banks online? About two thirds of us log in once per week, with the majority citing convenience, saving time, monitoring finances and the ability to bank outside of traditional branch hours (despite branches becoming more flexible with “banker’s hours” in recent years) as our reasons for doing so.
However, many Canadians aren’t using these powerful technologies to their full potential. When it comes to other tasks, the poll finds only 16 per cent of us use online and mobile banking to manage investments. A little more than one in 10 deposit cheques and perhaps most surprising – a very small three per cent of us apply for credit cards this way. We take a look at why this may be.
Saving Time in Today’s 24/7 Economy
With the rise in smartphone usage it should come as no surprise that mobile banking is so popular. In today’s 24/7 economy, more of us are looking to save time whenever possible.
“As we’re all trying to squeeze more business and family hours into our days, these tools give us a chance to stay on top of our spending and saving on the go. Time is money, and our money can be managed today in less time,” says Amber Mac, technology expert and host of 15secTech.
Canada a world leader in online and mobile banking
While it may seem like Canada is behind other countries in online and mobile banking, we’re actually a world leader.
“When you travel outside Canada, you will quickly see that we currently have access to some of the world’s most innovative banking technology,” says Mac, pointing to a projected growth in the popularity of mobile cheque deposits.
“[These] are gaining ground in this country, allowing Canadians to use a smartphone or tablet to take a picture of a cheque and deposit it directly into an account. In other words, no need to visit our local branch.”
Mac adds that this is just one example of a modern day banking convenience that is leading to what she calls a “superior” experience for customers.
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Online and mobile banking “tipping point”
Canadians have been slow to take full advantage of the many features included in online and mobile banking, but look for that to change in the near future.
“It takes a bit of time for users to integrate [this technology] into their everyday lives,” says Mac. “However, there is always a tipping point when the mainstream population latches on and can’t get enough of digital innovations.”
“In the case of e-platforms for more advanced activities such as managing investments, depositing cheques, and applying for credit cards, I anticipate there will be a major shift in the next year where these usage numbers rise substantially,” she adds.
Fintech reshaping the banking industry
With Fintech looking to disrupt the financial industry much the same way Uber disrupted the taxi industry, you can expect plenty more innovations in the banking space.
As someone who follows Fintech trends, Mac says she’s excited to see “what can only be described as rapid disruption in this space.”
“While at one of the top digital conferences in Canada this [past] winter, I interviewed more than 20 emerging financial technology start-ups. This fall, I’m hosting CIX’s FinTech conference where I expect to see even more exciting technology.”
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