Banking Consumer Study 2016

Digital wallet adoption sees sharp increase, although Google Wallet and Apple Pay lose ground

Louisville, Colo., Oct. 25, 2017 — A new nationwide study by Market Force Information® (Market Force), a worldwide leader in customer experience management, found that over one-fifth of banking customers are not satisfied with their current bank, and more are considering switching bank brands, compared to a year ago. The study also ranked Capital One as consumers’ favorite retail bank.

More than 6,500 bank customers were polled for the study, which also provides insights into banking trends, bank technology adoption and credit card usage.

Capital One Ranks No. 1

Capital One ranked as customers’ favorite bank out of the traditional banks included in the study. It earned a 48% score on Market Force’s Composite Loyalty Index, which represents an average of how satisfied consumers were with their last banking experience and how likely they’d be to recommend the bank to others. Regions Bank and US Bank tied for a close second with 47%, while PNC bank – last year’s leader – ranked third with 46%. All of the bank brands lost ground compared to 2016, with Wells Fargo dropping a sizable 13 percentage points as it seeks to bounce back from last year’s fraud incident.

Graph 1: Favorite National Retail Banks

Market Force also asked participants to rank the top banks based on attributes that drive satisfaction. Regions Bank, which didn’t earn enough votes to qualify for last year’s rankings, took the top spot in most categories, such as reputation, ease of transactions and fair rates. US Bank ranked highest for trust. Bank of America and Wells Fargo trailed in every category.

Graph 2: Retail Banks Ranked by Attributes


With Satisfaction Down, Banks Risk Losing Market Share

Satisfaction levels have dropped considerably this year – 23% report being dissatisfied with their current bank relationship, compared to just 15% in 2016. This underlying dissatisfaction also means fewer people are likely to recommend their banks and more are considering switching banks. Fourteen percent of all banking customers are considering switching banks in the next six months (a 2% increase) and, of those, the highest percentage are considering switching from Wells Fargo to another brand. [See Graph 3].

Graph 3: Considering Switching Banks by Brand

“Loyalty to traditional banks is wavering in the face of rapidly evolving consumer preferences, the proliferation of digital bank alternatives and fintech companies that are more adept at providing a superior digital customer experience,” said Chuck Rogers, financial services practice leader for Market Force. “Building trust is as important as ever, but our research finds there are other areas where bank brands can make inroads with their existing and new customer bases, including demonstrating that they’re invested in their customers’ financial well-being and customizing services to fit their needs.”

Mobile Apps Hold Steady, Digital Wallets See Spike

Technology is a bright point for major bank brands, with usage on the rise. The majority (79%) of customers have downloaded their bank’s mobile app, and 84% report using it at least weekly. Checking balances, checking statement and payment history, and making deposits are the most popular app uses.

For those who aren’t using their bank’s app, security remains an impediment to adoption, cited as a reason by 31% of those who have not downloaded their bank’s mobile app. About one in five – skewing largely toward males – said they see no benefit in using a phone for banking. 

Graph 4:  Reasons Why Not Using Bank’s App

While app usage is slowly and steadily increasing, digital wallets and e-wallets have seen an upward spike across all generations. The study found 23% of consumers are using digital wallets, compared to just 14% who reported doing so in 2016. PayPal is the most popular by a wide margin, while Google Wallet saw a significant drop in usage, and Apple Pay also lost ground. [See Graph 5]. Most are using them to make payments and to send and receive money.

Graph 5: Digital Wallet Adoption Rates

Branches Still Relevant, Well Visited

Despite the uptick in technology use, customers continue to visit their banks’ physical locations. Twelve percent go to a branch at least weekly to complete a teller transaction. Additionally, more than one in five visit a personal banker at least monthly, but primarily for help resolving problems, rather than to seek information or advice. Regions Bank’s and Chase’s personal bankers are the highest rated, earning top scores in areas such as asking questions, providing clear and relevant information and offering solutions. Bank of America ranked lowest in all of these categories. 

Graph 6: Performance of Personal Bankers by Brand


Credit Card Use

Of the 82% who use a credit card, most reported using cards issued by Capital One, Chase and Discover. About three in four use their credit card’s website, mainly to see statements and make payments. Additionally, 46% use their credit card’s mobile app, and they are most satisfied with apps from PNC and American Express.

Survey Demographics

The survey was conducted online in August 2017 across the United States. The pool of 6,518 U.S. banking customers represented a cross-section of the four Census regions and reflected a broad spectrum of income levels, with 51% reporting household incomes of more than $50,000 a year. Respondents’ ages ranged from 18 to over 65. Approximately 74% were female, 25% were male and 1% preferred not to answer.

About Market Force Information

Market Force Information is a customer experience (CX) management company that provides location-level measurement solutions that help businesses protect their brand reputation, delight customers and make more money. Solutions include customer experience surveys, employee engagement surveys, mystery shopping, on-site audits, contact center services and social media review tracking, which are all integrated into one technology and analytics platform, KnowledgeForce®. Founded in 2005, Market Force has a growing global presence, with offices in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France and Spain. It serves over 200 clients that operate multi-location businesses, including major retailers, restaurants, grocery and drug stores, petro/convenience operators, banking and financial services providers as well as the entertainment industry. The company was recognized in 2017 as one of the top 50 market research organizations in the AMA Gold Report and by Forrester as a Breakout Vendor. For more information, visit



Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2017

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