Canadians are now more likely to conduct day-to-day banking transactions online than at a branch, according to TNS Canada’s annual How Canadians Bank survey. Half of Canadian adults (52%) conducted transactions with staff at a branch of a financial institution in the month prior to taking the survey, and a similar proportion (50%) had banked online in the same period. However, online banking is used much more frequently—35% of Canadians bank online at least once a week, compared to only 15% of Canadians who visit a branch on a weekly basis.
“Online banking continues to steadily grow in popularity. Canadians appreciate the convenience of 24/7 access to their accounts and the speed with which online transactions are conducted,” says Rhonda Grunier, Vice President of Financial Sector research at TNS Canada. “But this doesn’t mean that branch banking is on its way out. The proportion of Canadians who visited a branch in the past month has been stable since 2005. The banks recognize the value of having personal contact with customers at the branch, and many have stepped up efforts to attract customers to the branch, for example, by having branches open on the weekend and improving amenities, such as adding customer lounges.”
The survey also found that mobile banking is taking off, with one out of four Smartphone owners using a mobile banking service. “This is quite an impressive number, considering that mobile banking apps have only been fully rolled out by the banks for about a year now,” says Rhonda Grunier.
TNS Canada’s annual How Canadians Bank study has been monitoring trends in Canadians’ usage of various banking channels since 1994. For the 2011 wave, 2,009 Canadians aged 18 and over were surveyed between October 5th and November 14th, 2011, using a self-administered questionnaire.