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Leveraging The Digital Banking Shift – PYMNTS & Feedzai

Banking has become more complicated during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many bank branches operating with limited hours. Consumers cannot afford to put their financial lives on hold during this disruptive time – nor have they. Digital banking is increasingly becoming the preferred method for how consumers engage with their financial institutions (FIs).

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Consumers have shifted their banking habits to online and mobile channels to a remarkable degree over a few short months, and they are not using digital banking to merely supplement the activities they would normally conduct through physical branches. Digital has become the primary channel through which they access their accounts — and even open new ones. PYMNTS research shows that nearly 30 percent of consumers have opened new bank accounts just in the past three months.

These new realities also carry risks, however. Consumers face greater exposure to fraud threats as they do more of their banking online – and this is a mounting concern for many of them. Nearly one-third of bank customers overall are concerned about fraud, according to PYMNTS research, and the share rises past 50 percent for those who have directly experienced it over the past 12 months.

Trust and security must be paramount concerns for consumers in this environment and the banks that serve them. Our research shows that most consumers who recently opened new bank accounts choose to do so by expanding services at institutions with which they already work. The driving factor for making this decision was clear: More than half said they opened accounts because they trusted their current FIs.

PYMNTS has set out to document and analyze the transformations taking place in the banking industry in our latest research report, Leveraging The Digital Banking Shift, a collaboration with Feedzai based on a survey of nearly 2,200 accountholding U.S. consumers. Our research confirms that many consumers have shifted their banking to online and mobile channels since the pandemic’s onset and this change extends across demographic boundaries.

Case in point: Nearly 50 percent of those who had favored in-person banking increased their use of both online and mobile banking since the pandemic’s onset. These are not fleeting changes, either. Nearly three-quarters of consumers plan to maintain at least some of the new banking habits they adopted over the past three months, even as normal bank operations resume. More key takeaways from our research follow.