Since the first Canadian bank opened its doors in a rented house in Montreal in 1817, banking has evolved from offering simple bank note transactions (and back then, each bank printed their own bank notes) to providing highly sophisticated services. There have been significant changes to how Canadians bank and competition has meant that banks are continually striving to provide customers with increased convenience, choice and flexibility.

Bank of Montreal $5 BanknoteGone are the days of waiting in line at your local branch. Today, customers can bank anytime and anywhere through a variety of services. There are over 60,000 ABMs and Interac payment terminals at over 450,000 retailers across Canada. And technology has transformed personal banking, giving Canadians the flexibility to bank at their convenience with the same security they’ve come to expect at traditional branches.

Rise of Mobile Banking

First introduced in 2010, Canadians conducted more than 200 million transactions on their mobile devices in 2015. A 2016 survey by the Canadian Bankers Association found that 44 per cent of Canadians conducted at least some of their banking transactions on a mobile device, an 11 point jump from 2014 when 33 per cent of Canadians took advantage of mobile banking. The same survey found that 17 per cent of Canadians are using mobile to conduct the majority of their transactions, up from five per cent four years earlier.

With the recent spike in mobile banking, Canadian banks have delivered mobile banking capabilities that meet their customers’ needs and expectations. According to Forrester’s 2016 ‘Global Mobile Banking Functionality Benchmark’ report, Canada’s largest banks rank among the top globally for their mobile banking capabilities.

graph that shows the number of people who have used the different banking methods from 2012 - 2016

graph that shows which type of banking transactions was conducted the most from 2012 - 2016

The vast majority of people using their mobile phones for banking are doing so through apps, with bill payments and account balance checks driving the increase in mobile app usage more than any other activity.

The Future of Mobile Banking

Banks continue to look for new ways to incorporate banking services into their mobile apps and Canadians are noticing. Perhaps the best indicator of future mobile banking use comes from Canadians themselves. When asked, more than half of Canadians said it was somewhat likely (17 per cent), very likely (18 per cent) or certain (17 per cent) that they would be conducting more of their banking on a mobile device.

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