2019 Expectations & Experiences: Channels and New Entrants

Consumers' Evolving Preferences for Moving and Managing Money

Whether it's mobile, online or the occasional branch visit, people are using multiple channels to manage their financial lives. Expectations & Experiences: Channels and New Entrants, the latest consumer trends research report from Fiserv, examines how and where consumers are engaging with financial services and explores emerging capabilities that may define the next era of financial engagement.

Digital channels widen the gap as the preferred way to interact

The majority of consumers prefer to interact with their primary financial organization via online or mobile. The net preference for digital interactions
(online plus mobile) is 58 percent – significantly higher than the 32 percent who prefer branch interactions. That discrepancy is due to the rising number of consumers who prefer mobile.

Those preferences, however, are highly related to age. Seniors have the highest preference for branch visits (57 percent). Every other generation prefers to interact with their primary financial organization through online and mobile. Gen Z strongly prefers online and mobile channels (77 percent) over the branch (18 percent).


Survey question to all qualified respondents: In which of the following ways would you most prefer to interact with your primary financial organization (FO)? Only top three responses shown.

Deposits and withdrawals bring consumers to the branch

Half (50 percent) of consumers have made an in-person branch visit in the prior month – a number that is holding steady from 2018. The most common reasons for visiting a branch are for depositing or withdrawing funds, cited by 9 in 10 consumers.

Digital capabilities such as remote deposit capture are likely influencing branch visits. Depositing a check is still the top reason for branch visits (53 percent), but that number has dropped from 72 percent in two years

Survey question to those with a nonvirtual primary FO: Which best describes the last time you visited your primary FO's branch, not including ATM visits? / Survey question to those who visited a branch in the past month: For which of the following reasons, if any, did you visit your primary FO's branch in the past month? Select all that apply. Top five responses shown.

Disbursement preferences don't always match reality

Despite preferences for electronic payments, many disbursement types are still made by check.

Survey question to respondents who received a disbursement in the past year: In which of the following ways have you received payment for each of the following? In which of the following ways would you most prefer to receive payment for each of the following? Not all responses shown. / Survey question to respondents who have a side job: How did you currently get paid for this work? How would you most like to get paid for this work? Net responses shown for electronic payments (direct deposit, electronic or mobile payment, payment to debit or credit card).

Voice-activated banking gaining consumers' attention

There is a small uptick in interest for voice banking among nonusers (19 percent in 2019 compared to 15 percent in 2018). In addition, more people see potential benefits to voice banking than in previous surveys (see chart at right). Still, many see no use for the technology and 66 percent of all consumers don't know if it's even possible. Privacy and security are also prevalent issues.

Based upon analytical models of consumer demographics, attitudes and behaviors, the strongest predictors of interest are recognition of the benefits of monitoring finances and streamline schedules.


Survey question to all qualified respondents: Which of the following would you consider to be the benefits of using your voice to perform banking functions via a voice-activated device? Please select all that apply. Not all responses shown.

There is an opportunity to educate consumers about voice banking

While a majority of consumers know it's possible to use voice activation to check the weather, set an alarm or ask a question, there is greater uncertainty as it relates to banking functions.

Survey question to all qualified respondents: Select which statement best reflects your opinion on the ability to use voice activation for each of the following uses?

Highlights of the key findings are available for download. 


In-depth insights are available to Fiserv clients through the Boardroom Series.

About Expectations & Experiences

Conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Fiserv, Expectations & Experiences is one of the longest running surveys of its kind and builds on years of longitudinal consumer survey data. The survey provides insight into people's financial attitudes and needs, enabling organizations to design and drive adoption of services that improve consumer financial health, loyalty and satisfaction.