301.652.1245 support@wave2.io
Select Page

Mobile banking can do many things that used to be handled by tellers at the branch. Checking account balances, initiating balance transfers, and even paying bills are all standard processes in today’s mobile banking sphere. But you can’t get cash out of a mobile device. And, oddly enough, today’s most technology-addicted generation prefers cash.

That’s right, Generation Z (1996-2015) report cash as their top choice for payments, according to a recent survey by Bank of America. The majority of the generation (95%) have smartphones, and nearly half (45%) spend a significant amount of time online. Yet mobile payments and debit cards come second and third to physical currency as a preferred way to pay. And they aren’t getting that money from a 3D printer.

New Account Holders are Looking for Branches, ATMs, and Convenience

Pre-pandemic, mobile banking use was already on a steady rise. Lockdowns and mass branch closures forced adoption to accelerate much more quickly. Even consumers traditionally more cautious of utilizing online banking tools saw the need to use mobile and online resources to manage their accounts. Overall mobile banking use rose by eleven percent from pre-pandemic levels.

Since then, mobile app usage has continued to reign as the most utilized method of accessing bank accounts. Over forty-one percent (41.6%) of consumers report their financial institution’s mobile application as their most-used banking method, followed by online banking and visiting a branch.

Mobile and Cash Don’t Mix

Most experts will argue that consumers want mobile banking and more digital options. But most people’s reasons for switching and the features they want are far more straightforward.

One-third of new banking seekers (33%) are looking for better benefits. These individuals want higher savings yields and monetary rewards. This data might be a factor in the growing number of institutions literally paying individuals hundreds of dollars to open accounts. But it doesn’t explain the increasing number of individuals under forty-years-old seeking out new primary banks.

Another of the most acknowledged drivers to switch financial institutions is banking fees. Overdraft charges, fees for being below a specific balance, and ATM surcharges are just a few of the ways some consumers get dinged regularly. Millennials and Gen Z have felt these fees much more than older generations over the past year and a half. They were the hardest hit by the pandemic and saw the most significant income and account balance fluctuations. Together they averaged $14+ in fees per month.

But one of the most important features the “experts” regularly overlook is convenience. Branch locations and easy-to-access ATMs are routinely reported as a driving consideration for all age groups. Banking seekers under forty list convenient access through branches and an ATM network even higher than online banking and mobile applications.

Chart of Different Generations Likelihood to Use Negative Descriptions About Their Own Generation


Bridging the Gap

The answer is in the stats. While mobile banking is the most frequently accessed, more account holders use the ATM than any other banking channel. Moreover, industry experts expect this trend to continue and grow as more financial institutions turn to interactive teller machines (ITMs) to perform more than cash dispense and deposits.

These more advanced ATMs combine the usual ATM offerings with the call center and financial advisors. The result is the ability to provide expanded branch services such as opening new accounts, making credit card payments, paying bills, and other more complicated processes in a more self-service environment. ITMs also offer the opportunity to expand hours and provide friendly faces to meet the needs of on-the-go consumers.

No matter the reason banks and credit unions have for expanding their ATM or ITM availability, cash-heavy Gen Z is sure to see it as a benefit. As this up-and-coming generation continues to leverage their financial options, institutions with solid self-service networks and robust access to cash are sure to reap the rewards.

Make It Easy!

Luckily, the Wave2 locator can be easily integrated with your mobile apps, digital banking platform, and your website, delivering a great user experience for your cardholders to find your ITMs, ATMs, surcharge free ATMs, and more. Make it easy for your mobile users and cash-focused card holders to find all your convenient access points without making them jump through a bunch of hoops!  

Find out how the Wave2 locator can help your financial institution with all of these issues and more!

Wave2 Contact:
Jason Green, Co-Founder
Schedule a Demonstration & Discussion