Canadians open to innovation and technology in their banking - led by millennials: CIBC poll

Not all age groups move as quickly on adopting the latest innovation, but all agree on the value of in person conversations for more complex questions and advice

TORONTO, Oct. 5, 2015 /CNW/ - A new poll by CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) finds that a majority of Canadians (67 per cent) say they are open to trying new banking or payment technology, such as depositing cheques by taking a photo with their mobile device or paying at the checkout with a wave of their smartphone.

Almost all younger Canadians surveyed say they are open to trying new banking or payment technology, while those 55 and up are less certain and slower to adopt. 

"Innovation will play a big role in the future of banking, and these poll findings demonstrate that Canadians are interested in making new technology part of their banking experience," says David Williamson, Senior Executive Vice President and Group Head, Retail and Business Banking, CIBC. "While the majority of Canadians are open to using innovative ways to bank and make payments, the adoption curve is different across age groups, underlining the importance of finding the right balance for each client."

Key poll highlights include:

  • Overall, 67 per cent of Canadians are open to trying new banking or payment technology, however their willingness varies across age groups:
    • 85 per cent of 18-34-year-olds (millennials) say they are open to trying new banking or payment technology, compared to 51 per cent of those 55 and older (baby boomers)
  • Millennials were more willing to jump in early, before an innovation has achieved wide usage. 59 per cent say they are either early adopters (21 per cent) or fast followers (38 per cent) in using new banking technology.

  • Conversely, baby boomers typically wait for an innovation to be widely used before adopting. Only 3 per cent of this group identified themselves as early adopters.

  • Most Canadians (73 per cent) say they prefer the convenience of banking remotely, anywhere anytime, without having to visit a branch for day-to-day needs. However, for more complex questions most Canadians (66 per cent) prefer a conversation with a bank representative in person.

Digital dominates for everyday banking, but advice is still personal

While digital banking (online, mobile, ATM) has taken over for everyday transactions, advice remains very much a person to person experience. When faced with a more complex issue, Canadians of all ages say that personal interaction with a bank representative is their preferred method of getting advice.

"Clients will choose the method they prefer to address their needs, and it's up to banks to deliver both in digital innovation and hands on advice," adds Mr. Williamson. "Even the most digitally-savvy client will look for an in person conversation when they have a bigger financial question on their mind."

Canadians adapt to new banking technology at their own pace

When it comes to learning how to use new banking technology, younger Canadians are more likely to dive in and take a trial and error approach, while boomers are more likely to look to instructions and tutorials to get started.

"Our experience in delivering a number of innovations first to market is that each client has their own comfort level when it comes to using a new banking service for the first time," adds Mr. Williamson. "That means focusing on features that are intuitive for those clients who will jump right in, and investing time in hands-on demonstrations with tablets and mobile devices for those clients who prefer to build some familiarity before they start banking on the go."

Mr. Williamson noted that having clients engaged in digital channels contributes to a deeper relationship with the bank.

"Our experience is that once a client is comfortable using digital channels like mobile banking and payments, their banking experience improves and their relationship with the bank gets stronger."

Note: The baby boomer generation includes those born between 1946 and 1965 with people currently between the ages of 51 and 70 years. Baby boomers in this poll include Canadians who are 55 years and over. The millennial generation includes those born between 1980 and 2000 with people currently between the ages of 15 and 35 years. Millennials in this poll include Canadians between the ages of 18 and 34 years.

  Millennials   Baby
Adopters - open to trying new bank or payment technology     67%   85%   51%
Early Adopters - Like to be the first to try it     12%   21%   3%
Fast Followers - Like to adopt it when it's relatively new but
like to see others are using it
    26%   38%   19%
Mass Adopters - Prefer to wait until everyone else is using it
before adopting
    29%   26%   29%
Resistors - Not interested in trying new banking technology     32%   16%   49%

Asking complex banking questions     All
  Millennials   Baby
Have a conversation with a bank representative in person     66%   55%   77%
Call a 1-800 number to speak with a bank rep.     22%   26%   17%
Chat online with a bank rep.     12%   19%   6%

How to learn to use new banking technology/tools     All
  Millennials   Baby
By trial, error and intuition     24%   39%   11%
By following instructions, tutorials, videos     34%   39%   27%
Ask a tech-savvy friend or family member for help     8%   7%   10%
I just don't use it     32%   13%   51%

From September 23rd to September 25th, 2015, an online survey was conducted among 3012 randomly selected Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error - which measures sampling variability - is +/- 1.80 per cent, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About CIBC

CIBC is a leading Canadian-based global financial institution with nearly 11 million personal banking and business clients and has a track record for innovation.

Following the introduction of the first mobile banking app in Canada in 2010, CIBC launched the first mobile payment app in 2012, and was first among the Big 5 to deliver eDeposit to clients in 2013.

In 2014, CIBC partnered with Tim Hortons to launch a first-of-its-kind two-button credit card technology that combines a CIBC Visa with a classic Tim Card. In 2015, CIBC was the first major Canadian bank to announce an app for the Apple Watch and the first to participate in the suretap(TM) open mobile wallet, expanding the choice available to CIBC clients for paying with their smartphone.

Through our three major business units - Retail and Business Banking, Wealth Management and Wholesale Banking - CIBC offers a full range of products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches and offices across Canada with offices in the United States and around the world. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC in our Media Centre on our corporate website at




For further information:

Caroline Van Hasselt, Director, External Communications, 416-784-6699 or

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