Mobile banking reaches critical mass for big banks

The 4Q11 financials from both JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo underline the extent to which mobile banking has emerged as a key banking channel, while also indicating that online penetration may have reached a ceiling.

  • Chase:
    • Between 4Q10 and 4Q11, Chase grew its active mobile banking customers by 57%, while during the same period active online banking customers increased by 3%
    • Active online banking customers as a percentage of total Chase checking customers rose from 62% in 4Q10 to 65% in 1Q11, but has remained at 65% for the three subsequent quarters.  Active mobile customers as a percentage of checking customers rose from 20% in 4Q10 to 32% in 4Q11
    • Active mobile customers as a percentage of active online customers rose from 32% in 4Q10 to 48% in 4Q11
    • The rate of growth in active mobile customers does not yet show signs of abating.  The quarterly growth rate fell from 13% in 1Q11 to 9% in 2Q11, but then increased to 10% in 3Q11 and again to 16% in the most recent quarter

  • Wells Fargo:
    • Active mobile customers increased 55% between 4Q10 and 4Q11.  During this period, active online customers rose 8%
    • Active mobile customers as a percentage of active online customers rose from 26% in 4Q10 to 37% in 4Q11