Half of Canadian Smartphone Users Expect to do Banking from Mobile Device in Next 24 Months

Smartphone users want their mobile banking apps to offer payment functionality, budgeting tools and ability to chat with a bank associate

TORONTO, Nov. 16, 2011 /CNW/ - With mobile banking expected to become a bigger trend in the next few years, a new survey from ING DIRECT finds that nearly half of Canadian smartphone users (49%) expect to do banking from their mobile device in the next 12 - 24 months. This number grows to 64% when looking at those aged 18 - 34.

"We know that as the mobile marketplace continues to expand, mobile banking is set to become a more popular option for Canadians. While online banking has and continues to be a convenient option, Canadians want easy access to their money at any time, wherever they are," said Peter Aceto, President and CEO at ING DIRECT Canada. "The appetite for mobile banking among Canadians is growing. Our clients have performed over 200,000 mobile fund transfers and 1,000,000 balance inquiries over the last 18 months. Our mobile apps see 2,000 downloads a week, and that number continues to rise."

Who's using mobile banking?

  • 35% of Canadian smartphone users have done banking on their mobile devices in the last 12 months. 53% are 18 - 34 years old, compared to 38% of those who are 35 - 54 years old and 12% of those aged 55+.
  • 66% of those who've done mobile banking in the last 12 months have used their bank's mobile application vs. 34% who simply use their smartphone browser to access the bank's website.
  • 2% of Canadian smartphone users indicated they primarily conduct their banking transactions using their mobile devices.

Despite the promising uptake of mobile banking in the last 12 months, nearly two-thirds of Canadian smartphone users (65%) still aren't on board. When asked why they haven't used mobile banking, a majority (56%) said online banking suited them just fine while one in five Canadians (21%) said they prefer other methods of banking (in person, ABM, telephone, etc.) A large number of respondents, 40%, said they had security concerns about using their mobile phones to do banking. Of all respondents, 64% said security is their biggest concern about mobile banking.

"It's not surprising that security is one of the biggest concerns given that the popularity of mobile banking has only recently started to pick up," said Charaka Kithulegoda, Chief Information Officer at ING DIRECT Canada. "The fact is mobile banking applies the same stringent security measures as traditional online banking websites."

For smartphone users who have used mobile banking in the last 12 months, the most common mobile banking functionalities used include: checking account balances (63%), paying a bill (19%), transferring funds (15%), emailing money (2%) and buying and selling mutual funds (1%).

"ING DIRECT's mobile banking apps make carrying out these functions very simple," said Kithulegoda. "A new feature called Orange Snapshot for mobile allows clients read-only access to their accounts if they simply want to check account balances without having to log in. Our new Interac e-transfer option not only allows you to send money instantly to a friend, but also provides you with the ability to add a new payee right from your mobile device."

Despite the ease and convenience of mobile banking, Canadians who are already using mobile banking apps still have a wish list of functionalities they'd like to have. Topping the list is the ability to make mobile payments using their smartphones (31%), the ability to add a payee (27%), personal finance management/budgeting tools (19%) and the ability to live chat with a bank associate (17%).

ING DIRECT's suite of mobile apps now include a six-sided virtual cube that displays rich content and provides clients with another opportunity to interact with the bank. By simply touching the cube on a mobile device, clients can consume the content they're most interested in, whether it's viewing current rates, getting more information about a product or service or taking advantage of new promotions.


ING DIRECT is Canada's leading direct bank with over 1.7 million Clients and more than $37.6 billion in total assets. ING DIRECT gives the power of saving to all Canadians by offering high-value, simple products such as high interest savings accounts with no fees or service charges, low rates on mortgages and a no-fee daily chequing account that actually pays interest. Low cost, index based mutual funds are sold through ING DIRECT Funds Limited. ING DIRECT has been operating in Canada since 1997 and has paid more than $5 billion in interest to Clients. ING DIRECT is open for banking 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at ingdirect.ca, on mobile devices at m.ingdirect.ca or by calling 1-800 ING DIRECT (1-800-464-3743).

About the Survey

From October 21st to October 25th, an online survey was conducted among 700 randomly selected Canadian adult smartphone users who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.64%, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.


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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: 

Amanda Petriglia

Teresa Cugliari

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