Empathica Consumer Insights Panel:
Financial Services Report

Analysis of U.S. & Canadian Consumer Behaviors in the Financial Services Sector

Executive Summary

The Wave 2, 2010 Empathica Consumer Insights Panel surveyed more than 15,000 U.S. and Canadian consumers, focusing in part on their confidence and preferences in the financial services sector. This survey was a comprehensive study on North American consumer spending behaviors and sentiments in various industries, which included additional surveys in domains such as customer service, the overall economy and social media. This detailed examination can be analyzed on its own and also compared to data pulled from Wave 1 – serving as insight into the change in consumer spending behaviors this past year. The results from this survey displayed notable shifts in consumer behavior trends, specifically surrounding banking, and identified consumers’ preferred channels, confidence in each channel and loyalty factors for retail banking.

A few notable statistics stemming from the survey are as follows:

  • Americans and Canadians favor Internet banking overall, although Canadians rank this preference 10 percentage points higher than Americans (49.4% vs. 38.2%).
  • For routine transactions in both the U.S. and Canada, branch and ATM banking came out as second and third most used channels, respectively. Mobile came in at the bottom, with only 1.7% of U.S. consumers and 1.1% of Canadians reporting they use mobile banking as their preferred channel for routine transactions.
  • For major transactions, 78.7% of consumers preferred to visit the branch, with only 18.5% preferring the Internet.
  • 51.2% of U.S. consumers and 60.3% of Canadian consumers say they do not trust the security of mobile banking, compared to the 21.7% of Americans and 26.2% of Canadians that do not trust Internet banking.
  • While mobile banking has a very low percentage of primary users in Canada, those who use it express a surprisingly high level of affection for their financial institution. For Canadian consumers who cited using mobile banking the most for routine transactions, 83% were likely to recommend the channel.
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