US Consumers Want to Bank on Chat, Clickatell’s New Chat Commerce Trends Report Reveals
- More Than Half of Consumers Have Already Used Chat to Talk to Businesses; They Want Banks to Get on Board
Clickatell, the leader in mobile communications and chat commerce, releases its first Chat Commerce Trends Report and finds that U.S. banking consumers would use a chat app for banking like the ones they use to talk to friends and family if the bank offered it. In fact, 70% would use chat as a communications channel and 77% are open to purchases via their chat app.
Banks are well positioned to lead the evolution of digital commerce in the U.S. to the next era – chat commerce.
The Chat Commerce Trends Report, based on a survey of over 1,000 U.S. banking consumers conducted by Dimensional Research in partnership with Clickatell, underscores that chat is the next big thing for customer service, marketing, and payments, as U.S. consumers extend the use of chat from friends and family conversations to commerce—and that banking is well positioned to drive adoption.
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Almost 9 in 10 consumers already use chat apps, such as WhatsApp, Apple iMessage, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, and Instagram chat on a mobile device, the research shows. It also demonstrates that 54% have used a chat app to talk to a business, with younger generations doing so at even higher rates. This is occurring at a time when more than 6 billion monthly active chat users outnumber the over 4.6 billion Internet users, according to Statista 2021.
“Consumers have moved to chat in mass, and it is fast becoming the number one preferred digital engagement platform. This research reveals that they’re now ready to do business with the brands they love on their favorite chat apps,” said Pieter de Villiers, CEO and Co-Founder of Clickatell. “Banks and other brands need to meet consumers where they are, which is on chat, or risk losing mindshare.”
The survey defined a “chat app” as an app to exchange written communication with a live person. The consumers surveyed have at least three bank accounts. Other research shows consumers want to move their banking transactions to chat:
- 1 in 3 have communicated with a bank using a chat app.
- Almost three quarters (73%) are interested in banking via chat.
- 62% agree it would be convenient to use existing chat apps for banking.
- 70% are likely to use a chat app for banking if their bank offered it; Millennials are most likely to use a chat app for banking tasks if it were offered.
- 65% say COVID-19 has changed the way they use banking apps, including 12% who started using an app for the first time.
- Millennials increased the way they use banking apps the most due to COVID-19.
“Now that consumers are driving to bank branches less and COVID-19 has led to increased call center wait times, they are increasingly transitioning to secure chat apps to communicate and transact with banks and other brands,” added de Villiers. “Banks are well positioned to lead the evolution of digital commerce in the U.S. to the next era, which will be chat commerce.”
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Banks gain competitive advantage with Chat Commerce
Not surprisingly, younger consumers are most invested and interested in chat to interact and transact with businesses. While half of all banking consumers have used chat to talk to a business, 68% of millennials have done the same. Millennials are also most likely to use chat for banking if it was offered.
Higher income households and consumers with the highest education levels are also more interested in banking via a chat app, this research demonstrates, as are people who access bank accounts more frequently.
The top three banking services consumers want via chat apps are for customer support, to check account balances and pay bills, the research reveals. This dovetails with expectations that chat commerce via mobile will unfold in the U.S. first in customer service and then move on to transactions and payments around goods and services.