FDIC Survey: How America Banks

A recent survey published by the FDIC highlights the changes in how Americans use banks. The changes in this report range from banking methods to the frequency of visits to a teller. Below is a summary of how bank usage varies among banked households. 

Banking Methods 

Regarding the primary method that banked households have used in the past 12 months to access their accounts, mobile banking has increased the most. Accessing banks via mobile devices rose notably over the course of five years, from 9.5% in 2015, 15.6% in 2017, and 34.0% in 2019.  Part of this shift is due to the growth of younger banked households where mobile banking as a primary means of access has almost doubled between 2017 and 2019. 

The increase in mobile banking has overthrown online banking as the most prevalent method of accessing accounts. In fact, online banking decreased substantially while the use of bank tellers, ATMs, and telephone banking declined only modestly. Despite these recent declines, online banking, kiosks, and tellers are still prominent methods of access for banked households. For more on this, WBA freelance writer Paul Gores has written an article detailing the switch from in-person to virtual banking. 

Branch Visits 

The FDIC notes that 83% of banked households visited a branch within the last 12 months, a number which is down by 3% from 2017. Nine in ten rural households visited a branch at some point throughout the year. Among the surveyed population that visited a branch ten or more times include approximately four in ten rural households and nearly 60% of banked households that used bank tellers as their primary method. 

Customer Satisfaction 

Also addressed in the survey is customer satisfaction with their primary bank and their beliefs of how clearly their bank communicates account fees. 

In 2019, three in four banked households claimed to be satisfied with their bank, while less than 3% were either not very satisfied, not satisfied, or did not know. Two in three customers thought their banks communicated fees clearly. Overall, the large majority of banked households were satisfied with the way their banks operated and communicated.  

The full report breaks down these changes further based on factors such as family income, education, and age group.  

View the full report. 

By, Ally Bates