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Most industries are giving serious thought to expanding their mobile capabilities, and banks are no exception. But many times this instinct stems from the overall trend that “mobile is growing,” with no real insight into how a bank’s target consumers are actually using their mobile devices to interact with financial services brands.

Millward Brown Digital’s latest study examines these dynamics for financial services and determined four key areas that banks should keep in mind when thinking about their mobile strategy.

1. When it comes to understanding consumer shopping behaviors, task matters, especially in financial services

  • Consumers prefer different devices for different activities, and consumers across all generations prefer laptops/PCs for all financial services activities.

2. Activity duration makes the laptop the preferred tool for acquiring new customers across all generations

  • As the length of the task increases, consumers are more likely to prefer a laptop over a smartphone – typically around the 20 minute mark. The laptop cannot be ignored for this key reason, because while most online applications take roughly 15 minutes to complete, the addition of research time puts that squarely over 20 minutes.

3. Servicing is the biggest customer engagement opportunity in the mobile channel

  • When thinking about defining a mobile strategy, acquiring new customers might not be the most important area to focus on. However, quick account management activities like checking a balance are ideal for mobile usage as they typically take only a few minutes to complete. While GenXers and Boomers still prefer laptops for these activities, Millennials prefer smartphones.

4. The Tablet is not the ‘next laptop’ for any generation in financial services

  • While many in the industry expect that consumers will begin transitioning from laptops to tablets more and more for financial services activities, we currently do not see this happening. Consumers see tablets as primarily an entertainment device, and prefer to use laptops for financial tasks.

For more information on these four takeaways, check out our article in American Banker.