Member Exclusive, The Customer Effect

The pandemic may be receding, but its effects on consumer banking aren’t

  • Covid has changed the consumer’s relationship with cash, savings, and digital banking.
  • It’s becoming increasingly likely that these changes will far outlive the pandemic.

Email a Friend

The pandemic may be receding, but its effects on consumer banking aren’t

Over the last 18 months, it’s become fairly obvious that the pandemic has caused major changes in how consumers perceive and interact with cash, savings, and digital banking tools. What’s perhaps been less obvious is how long-lasting these changes will be, and whether they will outlive the pandemic.

New research shows that even as people around the world get vaccinated and return to in-person activities, the pandemic-induced changes in their financial behaviors continue to persist, and in most cases grow even stronger.

A recent study conducted by Chase examined consumer behaviors among over 2,000 men and women between the ages of 18 and 57+, with a particular focus on digital banking tools, cash usage, contactless payment methods, savings habits, and the demand for personalized banking services.

Cash continues to lose its hold

Even as the pandemic recedes, cash still seems to be losing popularity, and not just due to Covid-related health concerns. 13% of both Baby Boomers and Gen Z admitted they wouldn’t feel comfortable making cash-based transactions again, even after the pandemic is over.

At the same time, the use of contactless payments has been growing through the pandemic. Last year, almost half (45%) of all consumers said they were more frequently using digital payment options like P2P payments, according to Chase’s 2020 Digital Banking Attitudes Study.  

The trend continues this year: 47% of respondents either started or continued to use contactless payment options in 2021, and nearly three-fourths (73%) believed they are a more secure and convenient form of payment.

Increasing dependence on mobile deposit options

The vast majority of consumers (89%) say they prefer to use a mobile app to deposit money into their account, since this option provides flexibility and allows them to deposit checks from virtually anywhere.


Although mobile deposit options are more popular among younger generations, Baby Boomers are not that far behind: the majority (52%) are now also using mobile apps to deposit their funds.

Consumers are saving up more through digital tools

40% of respondents hoped to contribute more to their savings accounts in 2021, and they believed digital tools would play an important role in helping them achieve that, according to last year’s study.

This year’s research finds that 84% of consumers are using automated saving features on digital tools like Chase Autosave, which offer services such as automatic transfers from a user’s checking account to their savings account (comparable figures for the previous year are not available).

Furthermore, 41% of respondents believe that having digital tools that allow them to see their credit and debit card usage, understand their cash flow, and review their top spending categories would help them save up more and improve overall money management.

Consumers want even more personalized banking services

People want their bank to offer personalized tools and services to make them better informed about their saving and spending habits. The demand for personalized banking is highest among young people: 79% of Gen Z consumers say they want more personalized offers and information from their banks to help them achieve their financial goals and save up more.

Are these changes here to stay?

The growth in the use of digital banking tools is likely to continue long after the pandemic is over, according to a spokesperson at Chase. This is because consumers have become accustomed to the convenience and long-term benefits of digital money management.

“Our survey further confirms that digital banking tools are empowering consumers to take control of their finances,” the Chase spokesperson told Tearsheet. “Personalized features are a good example. When consumers have access to personalized daily insights about their spending, saving, earning and credit scores, they’re able to make much better long-term financial decisions.”

Yan Wu, co-founder and VP of data science and operations at Bond, finds it interesting that consumers across all age groups are embracing digital banking services, not just as a time-saving tool, but also as a force for helping them make improvements to their financial lives. He expects this trend to accelerate over the coming years as people start to see digital transactions and currencies as not just convenient, but important for their financial well-being.

“The implications for the future are vast, and we’re excited by the new insights that consumers will gain from the increasing personalization of everyday financial activities such as making purchases, insuring your home, saving up, and paying the bills,” said Wu.

“Eventually, this will give way to higher-value questions for consumers, such as: ‘When can I afford to retire? How much do I need to save each month for my kid’s college? When can I get out of credit card debt?’ By making it easier for customers to make these decisions, personalized digital banking tools will help them lead healthier financial lives.”

0 comments on “The pandemic may be receding, but its effects on consumer banking aren’t”

The Customer Effect

The White House is proposing an increase in the capital gains tax. What will non-white groups gain?

  • The White House is proposing a hike in capital gains tax as part of a deficit reduction plan.
  • The taxation system in America needs another look, so far the balance has been tipped in the favor of investors and white households. Will the capital gains tax rebalance the scales?
Rabab Ahsan | March 15, 2023
The Customer Effect

Americans think financial literacy can help them cope with the cost of living

  • Consumer prices are rising and the cost of everyday goods is expected to remain volatile.
  • With the frequent ups and downs in the economy, consumers are starting to bank on financial literacy to help them weather the storm.
Rabab Ahsan | March 02, 2023
The Customer Effect

Consumers are relying more on credit in this bad economy

  • Due to economic headwinds, people are turning to credit to make ends meet.
  • What will this upswing mean for issuers in the future?
Rabab Ahsan | February 24, 2023
The Customer Effect

How are Americans coping with their financial burnout?

  • Americans are feeling financially overwhelmed due to sustained inflation and slow economic growth.
  • Many consumers are now putting a greater emphasis on financial well-being, and have increased their reliance on digital banking tools.
Sara Khairi | February 13, 2023
The Customer Effect

With high inflation, are savings out of the picture for American consumers?

  • Inflation has been affecting saving habits across the board as consumers have to spend more to afford basic necessities.
  • Given the turbulence of the past few years, paying off debt has been ranking high on the list of savings priorities for most Americans.
Rabab Ahsan | February 08, 2023
More Articles