If you think the average American is on their phone throughout the day you are largely right. However, they may not be on your bank’s app. While the usage of the average app on your smartphone peaks at 8 pm at night, largely driven by social media, the average banking app peaks around lunchtime. In an attempt to better understand the banking customer, both retail and commercial, we charted the average banking app’s usage to uncover some actionable insights.
While news, travel and weather apps tend to peak around 8 am in the morning (all quoted times are adjusted for local zones); music, entertainment and social media app usage tends to peak around 8 pm at night. By contrast, banking app usage is low in the morning, then grows in steady fashion getting its largest surge during lunchtime when there is the greatest concentration of both retail and commercial usage.
Banking app usage then trends steadily down before undergoing a slight surge after dinner. On average bank app usage is fairly steady compared to most apps with the exception of music and email.
Putting This Into Action
While these trends are not all that surprising, what is surprising is how little banks take advantage of this information. For starters, the other way to think about this data is these times are essentially a look into a person’s banking soul. These are the times when they think about banking. As such, you now know the optimal time range in which to advertise.
Further to this point, bank customers tend to be more transactional around 11 am and more interested in researching banking products later in the evening. As such, a bank with a personalization engine would present more transactional information such as rates, fees, and transactional product promotions such as Zelle or ACH in the day and provide more financial education later in the evening.
This chart also explains why the best time to post content for a bank to get the highest cumulative views is right at 5:55 am local. Post earlier than that, and it is often missed in a person’s content feed. Post later than that and you miss the customers and prospects that check your content before work.
Finally, knowing banking app usage can also help guide actions with in-app messaging. Showing a reminder to use their debit card would be key right before lunch, while a mortgage pitch would work best around 7 pm.
While these times will likely vary based on your demographics and product set, for the most part, the above usage pattern is surprisingly consistent across bank sizes and across the country. If you are looking to gain better marketing and app performance, consider timing to the above schedule to drive additional engagement and revenue.
Submitted by Chris Nichols on November 13, 2019