FORT ATKINSON, Wis. (1/5/15)--A new survey from financial data provider RateWatch has found that credit union members use online banking services more than customers of banks.
Credit union members use online banking at a clip of 37.42%, while bank customers use it at a rate of 27.19%, the survey found.
In-branch banking continues to be the most popular method for all financial institutions, however, with 62.23% of respondents citing branches as their primary banking venue.
But that number continues to dwindle, as in-branch banking has fallen 4.62% over the last year (in October), while those primarily using online and mobile devices for banking has increased by 5.56%.
The Fort Atkinson, Wis.-based firm polled roughly 10,900 financial institutions nationwide in October 2014.
"Busy, hectic lives, security concerns and the continued increase of smartphone ownership among consumers will likely result in higher mobile banking usage," the survey said. "The need to stay competitive in their market and industry as a whole will likely continue to increase the variety, value and power of the mobile banking technology offered by institutions."
The survey also revealed that credit unions make available mobile banking at a higher rate than banks.
The number of credit unions offering mobile banking services increased to 82% from 70% last year, while only 73% of banks offer mobile banking.
Credit unions also have a leg up in other innovations in the financial services industry, according to the survey.
While banks replaced physical branches with an interactive kiosk at a rate of 2.76% last year, credit unions topped that mark at a rate of 7.74%.
Further, credit unions are more likely than banks to offer account-to-account (A2A) transfers, or the ability to open an account online and the ability to submit a credit application online, the survey found.
"More than twice as many institutions are now offering mobile baking than in 2011," the survey said. "The ability to carry out tasks such as remote deposit capture, A2A transfers, [person-to-person] transfers, submitting credit applications and accessing business accounts through mobile banking have all increased in the previous year."
(Editor's note: This article first appeared in the Jan. 2 issue of News Now.)