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Galileo Finds Digital Banking Gains Momentum as Consumers Use More Accounts for More Purposes

Galileo Financial Technologies, a global fintech-as-a-service platform owned and operated independently by SoFi Technologies, Inc., has released new research, the 2021 State of Consumer Banking and Money survey, that demonstrates growing usage of different financial tools by consumers with all generations increasingly turning to digital banking options. 

Gaileo surveyed 1,000 U.S. adult consumers (ages 18-64) to understand where they keep their money, and why and how they use their accounts across traditional banks, digital-only banks, prepaid cards and stand-alone digital options. Among the key findings: 21% of adults use a digital-only bank as their primary account and report greater satisfaction (79%) compared with the 65% of consumers who use a traditional bank as their primary account and report 66% satisfaction. What’s more, as digital banking proliferates, 77% of adults who use traditional banks as either a primary or secondary account keep 43% of their funds elsewhere.

The survey also revealed that despite continuing to choose traditional banks as their primary provider, consumers across all generations are utilising non-traditional financial tools more than ever before and for more purposes. Consumers average 2.5 providers and use their primary accounts for ~4 activities and their secondary accounts for ~3 activities. However, the lines are blurring between uses across account types. 

“The financial frontier is rapidly and dramatically transforming right before our eyes,” said Seth McGuire, chief revenue officer at Galileo. “Consumers are looking for financial services experiences that meet them exactly where they are: on their devices, using various applications, accessing their money both traditionally and digitally, and doing more with their money. Across this industry there is a massive opportunity to bridge the gap among all consumers and deliver highly valued engagements for those who use traditional banking and those who prefer digital.”

Additional key report themes and findings include: 

Where Consumers Bank Isn’t Always Where They Keep Funds

  • 77% of consumers use traditional banks as a primary or secondary provider, but only 57% of consumer funds are kept there 
  • Of the 43% of consumer funds that are kept in non-traditional accounts, more than one-third (35%) are kept in digital-only banks and stand-alone digital accounts

Digital Providers Generate Greater Satisfaction and Interest Among Consumers

  • Of the 65% of consumers who use traditional banks as their primary provider, only 66% are satisfied 
  • Satisfaction jumps to 79%, and 81%, respectively, for those who use digital-only banks (21%) and stand-alone digital accounts (7%) as their primary provider
  • The majority of consumers (61%) indicated that they are somewhat or highly likely to switch to a digital-only bank

All Generations Are Embracing Non-Traditional Financial Services, But the 35-44 Segment Use Digital-Only Banks Most

  • More than one-third of all consumers (35%) utilise a non-traditional financial service (digital-only bank, stand-alone digital account or prepaid account) as their primary provider
  • Across all age groups, 21% of consumers utilise a digital-only bank as their primary financial provider. When broken down by age, it’s not just Gen Z choosing digital first; older Millennials and younger Gen X consumers also are drawn more to digital-only banks as their primary providers:
    • The highest usage (29%) for any age group is among consumers ages 35-44, which spans both the Millennial and Gen X generations
    • 26% of 25- to 34-year-olds use digital-only banks as their primary provider, followed by 24% of 18- to 24-year-olds 

Author

  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.

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