Getting to know your customers: Part 2

Lelanie de Roubaix|04 July 2019
Getting to know your customers: Part 2

Who are the most frequent users of mobile banking apps, and why is important that banks get to know them? This two-part series takes a closer look.

As we mentioned in the first part of this series, in a recent survey commissioned by Entersekt and conducted online by The Harris Poll, know your customer, or KYC, took on literal meaning. While our main survey report focused on the use of and preferences for mobile banking and payments apps of more than 1,900 US adults who own a mobile device, we wanted to take a closer look at the regular users of mobile banking apps themselves in this series.

Crunching the numbers

Statistics, like the ones reported on in the first part of this series, however interesting they may be at first glance, inevitably lead us to ask what they really mean. What do they say, what can be made of them, and why are they important?

In terms of users of banking apps, while the graphs in the previous blog show there are significant differences across mobile device owners in several demographic categories, overall use of banking apps is high. And among banking app users, a majority use banking apps at least once per month (94%). 

If we take a closer look at banking app users, in pursuit of getting to know our customers, the percentages of users across different demographic categories enable us to see which specific demographic groups are more likely to be regular banking app users – those mobile device owners that use banking apps at least once a month, and which groups are more likely to be “super users” – those using banking apps at least once a week. Given that super users make up a part of the regular users, it is not surprising that the demographic groups that are more likely to be regular users and super users are remarkably similar for both.

Mobile device owners using banking apps at least once a month

“Regular users”

Mobile device owners using banking apps at least once a week

“Super users”

75% of men (vs. 68% of women)

62% of men (vs. 55% of women)

84% aged 18–44 (vs. 60% aged 45+)

72% aged 18–44 (vs. 46% aged 45+)

79% of employed (vs. 59% not)

67% of employed (vs. 45% not)

No significant difference between married and unmarried

62% of unmarried (vs. 55% of married)

87% of parents of a child under 18 (vs. 64% not parents)

74% of parents of a child under 18 (vs. 51% not parents)


Making sense of it all

In an era where data has become a commodity, financial services institutions often hear that they lag behind other companies, especially big tech, when it comes to leveraging the data they have on their customers. There’s a reason for this. Banking, like shopping, watching television, and countless other consumer activities, has been transformed by consumer demands and technology – and the interaction between them. As banking and fintech expert Jim Marous argues, banking customers have come to “expect their financial institution partners to be able to provide real-time recommendations” that are personalized and relevant, and based on contextual insight. Just like they do their preferred e-commerce and content streaming platform.

When banks get to know their customers – their profiles, habits, and preferences – they have the inside info that can give them the edge. For example, from our survey results we know that most mobile device owners that use banking apps (94%) use them at least once a month. And given that over three-quarters (76%) of all American mobile device owners ever use banking apps, banks are in the privileged position of having a regular monthly touchpoint with their customers. Are they making the most of this opportunity, and leveraging additional insights into who their customers are? Knowing that many parents of kids under 18 (90%) are banking app users, are banks engaging their customers to teach their children about their financial well-being, and perhaps to open an account for them?

For banks, knowing their customers is not enough. Most other companies out there have the same information. The “edge” lies in how banks leverage their knowledge – to their own advantage as well as their customers’. It all comes down to the trust still inherent in the bank-customer relationship: if they can make the most of this, and make the most of the relevant insights they have on their customers, both parties can benefit. Banks can offer customers new use cases, like alerting them to when a transaction could impact their credit score and getting them to think twice about proceeding. In this way, the bank becomes a trusted personal advisor, one that truly knows and cares about its customers.

Survey method

This survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Entersekt, January 22–24, 2019 among 2,076 US adults, ages 18 and over, among whom 1,928 are mobile device owners, including 1,362 who use banking apps once a month or more often. This survey was not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For more information on survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To see more results of this survey and get a sense of Americans’ use of banking apps as well as payments apps, download our main survey report here.

The full version of this two-part series is available to download here.

About the author

Lelanie de Roubaix

Lelanie de Roubaix

Marketing communications specialist

Lelanie is Entersekt’s research specialist. She keeps a close eye on what’s happening in the industry for Entersekt, and on what’s happening at Entersekt for the industry. When she’s not reading or writing, she takes care of analyst and other strategic relations for Entersekt’s marketing team.

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