Report: Online, mobile banking see rising satisfaction

According to a recent survey from comScore, of more than 2,000 U.S. internet users, customer satisfaction and loyalty with financial institutions, bank websites and mobile banking is increasing.

According to a recent survey from comScore, of more than 2,000 U.S. internet users, customer satisfaction and loyalty with financial institutions, bank websites and mobile banking is increasing.

The annual State of Online and Mobile Banking report touched on a variety of topics that affect banking customers, such as adoption of online banking, banks' social media status and the onset of mobile banking.

Specifically, researchers found that online banking volumes across the top 10 U.S. banks grew by more than 65 million liquid deposit account (LDA) holders during the first quarter, such as those with checking, savings or money market accounts. The volume of these types of bankers has more than double since comScore's first iteration of this survey in 2004.

People were also more apt to pay their bills online, as around 66 percent of respondents reported having used the service in some way.

When it came to social media integration, researchers found that in early 2011, financial customer visits to leading social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn increased 31 percent, year over year. However, banks still lacked the ability to spread social media awareness via marketing or customer service outlets, as just 18 percent of consumers who used social sites said they knew of their banks' presence on these channels.

"Online and mobile banking grew solidly in 2011 as perceptions of the economy improved early in the year and financial institutions invested in further developing their digital channels," said Sarah Lenart, comScore Vice President for Financial Service. "Use of online banking climbed steadily, showing improvements in customer satisfaction across the board, while mobile banking gained adoption, particularly among those using apps."

When it came to mobile, researchers found that 16 percent of U.S. mobile users said they used their smartphones to access financial information or conduct transactions in Q2 2011.  Furthermore, nearly three-quarters of mobile bankers interacted with the institutions via a mobile device at least once per week - similar to the engagement seen in online banking via desktop.

Enhanced mobile banking apps have a lot to do with the onset of mobile banking, as does convenience. The Huffington Post reports that customers don't necessarily miss face-to-face interaction with branch managers, and perceive it faster to go the alternate route.

Also, there is the fact that middle men in the banking environment (stock brokers, insurance agents) are being phased out, as companies like Mint.com offer similar guidance over a mobile platform.