Trailblazing in Tech: Hispanic Consumers Reveal Mobile-First Mindset, Early Adoption of Fintech

Bank of America Survey Finds Hispanic Respondents Avid Users of Mobile for Banking, Payments and Day-to-Day Tasks

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 5:00 am EDT

Hispanic consumers are significantly more likely to engage with mobile to manage their finances, with 78 percent using a mobile banking app, compared to approximately half (51 percent) of non-Hispanics. What’s more, nearly three-quarters (69 percent) of the Hispanic community cite digital as their primary method of banking.

These are new findings released today from the Bank of America Trends in Consumer Mobility Report, exploring mobile trends and banking behaviors among consumers who own a smartphone and have an existing banking relationship at any financial institution. The release of the survey follows the bank’s recent introduction of its mobile app in Spanish.

The report reveals similar insights when examining mobile payments. More than half (56 percent) of Hispanics would use or already use their phone to make purchases at checkout, compared to just 36 percent of their non-Hispanic counterparts. Seventy-seven percent of Hispanics say they’re likely to use emerging payment methods such as mobile wallets and social media apps, with 72 percent citing they would use or already use their bank’s peer-to-peer payments service.

“This survey reinforces what our Hispanic customers show us every day ‒ the Hispanic community leads the way in mobile adoption, usage and engagement,” said Michelle Moore, head of digital banking at Bank of America. “We’re committed to delivering solutions that meet the needs and behaviors of these consumers, such as our recently released mobile app available in Spanish.”

Banking on the go
Of those Hispanic respondents using a mobile banking app, nearly half (45 percent) are accessing their app once a day or more, in contrast to 32 percent of non-Hispanic respondents. Hispanic users also appear more active with their finances via mobile:

  • In examining overall activity, Hispanics are more likely than non-Hispanics to deposit a check (53 percent) and send money to others (37 percent).
  • When it comes to notifications, Hispanics are also significantly more likely to use mobile banking alerts (93 percent), specifically low balance (50 percent) and card charge overage alerts (48 percent).

Leading the digital lifestyle
This “always on” mentality is also seen in everyday communications, as Hispanic respondents (35 percent) say they are most likely to interact with their smartphone in an average day more than anyone or anything else, including their significant other (29 percent). They are more likely than non-Hispanics to own more than one mobile device (64 percent), and cite texting (32 percent) as their preferred communications method.

Over sharing or fear of missing out? Hispanic respondents also confirmed they are more inclined to share events with others, as nearly all (95 percent) consumers say they want to have their smartphone on hand to capture important life milestones. They’re also more likely than non-Hispanics to post these life moments on social media (78 percent, compared to 69 percent).

Conversely, they are also more likely to use their device to avoid social interactions (66 percent, compared to 40 percent), with holiday gatherings (32 percent), family dinners (28 percent) and school (26 percent) the top places to do so.

Other notable findings from the report include:

  • Selfie nation: Nearly nine in 10 (85 percent) Hispanic respondents say they take selfies, compared to 71 percent of non-Hispanics.
  • Emoji engagement: More than four in five (81 percent) Hispanic consumers admit to using emojis, and nearly one in five (19 percent) say they use them in every text.
  • Instant gratification: Four in five (80 percent) Hispanics feel the appropriate response time to a text should be under an hour, and approximately one in five (18 percent) think it should be “instantly.”
  • Read the room: More than half (54 percent) admit they call or text someone when they’re in the same room, notably higher than non-Hispanics at 36 percent.
  • Plugged in to politics: The vast majority (68 percent) of Hispanics cite they are using their smartphone to engage with the upcoming election cycle in some capacity, compared to less than half (47 percent) of non-Hispanics.

Bank of America’s focus on mobile banking
With more than 21 million active mobile users and growing, Bank of America’s mobile banking platform is an evolving source of increased customer engagement and satisfaction. During the second quarter of 2016, mobile banking customers logged into their accounts more than 900 million times, or approximately 47 times per user. During that same period, customers made more than 25 million mobile bill payments and nearly 80 million transfers, a growth of 30 percent and 46 percent, respectively, over 2015. Customers also used their mobile devices to deposit more than 280,000 checks daily and to schedule 22,000 appointments per week with a personal banker or financial center specialist, and were able to use their smartphone at more than 2,800 cardless ATMs to withdraw cash. More customers are opening new accounts through mobile, with sales increasing by 48 percent over the past year.

In addition to the ability to set the mobile app language to Spanish, recently added functionality includes:

  • Access universal help button from all pages.
  • Change or request new credit card PIN.
  • Redeem credit card rewards.
  • View FICO score.
  • Ability to lock and unlock debit cards.

About the Bank of America Trends in Consumer Mobility Report
Braun Research, Inc. (an independent market research company) conducted a nationally representative telephone survey on behalf of Bank of America March 29‒April 12, 2016. Braun surveyed 1,004 respondents throughout the U.S., comprised of adults age 18+ with a current banking relationship (checking or savings) and who own a smartphone. The survey was conducted by phone to a dual-frame landline and cell. In addition, an oversample of Hispanic consumers was conducted to bring the total number of surveys with this demographic group to 575. The margin of error for the national quota of n=1,004 is +/- 3.1 percent, and the margin of error for the Hispanic oversample (where n=575) is +/- 4.1 percent, with each reported at a 95 percent confidence level.

Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 47 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,700 retail financial centers, approximately 16,000 ATMs, and award-winning online banking with approximately 33 million active accounts and more than 21 million mobile active users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

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