While the pandemic increased the adoption of mobile banking across all demographics, older users saw the most dramatic rise in mobile usage. Mobile banking adoption by Baby Boomers and Seniors grew 43% and 50%, respectively. In comparison, Gen Zers and Millennials saw their usage rise only about 10%, as an overwhelming majority of younger people were already banking online pre-pandemic. Branch closures pushed many customers older than 56 to digital banking for the first time.

In response to this rise in usage, firms sought to improve their UX across their online and mobile banking platforms, both to keep up with rising customer expectations and to help new users. Older generations in particular come with a different set of digital expectations and needs than the younger demographics that firms were previously targeting with their mobile apps. In the pandemic world, banks not only had to offer best-in-class websites and apps; they had to teach new users how to bank online. A recent Corporate Insight Demos and Tutorials report (Credit Card Monitor subscription required) examined online and mobile resources to identify industry best practices for online banking demos and tutorials. Below we preview a few best practices from that report:

Some firms impress with in-depth demos and tutorials

Interactive demos that provide clickable device images alongside text instructions invite users to engage with content and learn more about the site. U.S. Bank offers a unique example of this: its demos give access to almost all bank account features, allowing users to explore the website or mobile app at their own pace, choosing their own learning journey. This type of demo can help build trust with prospective clients, who will know exactly what to expect from the digital experience before signing up. Unfortunately, most banks do not allow such a robust test of a real banking experience. Typically banks offer video or click-through demos of specific account features, such as mobile check deposit or bill pay journeys.

This gif shows how U.S. Bank's online banking demo
U.S. Bank Online Banking Simulator

Bank of America offers a wide range of available demos and tutorials. The firm has a somewhat immersive demo page—notably with guided journeys—that provides similar breadth and depth of account access to U.S. Bank. It includes the following features & services: Alerts, Bill Pay, Transfers, Accounts Overview, Help & Support, Profile & Settings and Tools & Investing on both online platforms and mobile sites.

This gif shows Bank of America's banking demo
Bank of America Using Zelle to Send Money Walk-Through Demo

Chase stands out for providing a slideshow that showcases its overall authenticated site architecture, visiting key areas of the site with descriptions and positional control. The feature does not navigate through specific journeys in-depth. Although Chase’s public site lacks interactive demos—offering text-based walkthroughs supplemented with videos—the slideshow overview of the authenticated site provides a unique solution to, what can be, an overwhelming interface upon initial log in for new clients. Most competitors do not offer a similar site overview, although a few—like U.S. Bank—will offer slideshow walkthroughs of new features after revamping an interface.

This screenshot shows Chase's slideshow demonstration of its authenticated website
Chase Authenticated Site Slideshow

How these demos help consumers

Offering an online banking demo or tutorial is a best practice, as previewing the authenticated site is a big help to prospective clients. Shoppers, particularly older prospects, can make better, more informed choices for where they want to bank and how confident they’d feel using the firm’s digital tools. Also massively important is the applicability to underbanked consumers. An increasing number of fintechs and incumbent banks are finding innovative ways to help underbanked individuals with little financial history begin building credit and use more financial products. As the trend continues, these immersive tutorials and traditional step-by-step videos or interactive image and text tutorials will grow in importance. Such resources may make these communities more comfortable diving into a bank’s product suite and online and digital platforms. Moreover, extensive demonstrations of mobile and online banking platforms may be valued greatly among the growing Baby Boomers and Seniors users, who may need more help with the basics of online banking.

How these demos help the firm

Through extensive interactive demos, firms can establish trust with prospective clients. After the 2008 financial crisis and other, ongoing misdeeds, banks earned an unfavorable reputation. Some clients may still lack trust and confidence in large financial institutions in 2022. However, banks can rebuild trust, at least when it comes to digital experiences, by putting power and control in the users’ hands with demos and tutorials. Prospective clients may view immersive demos as a signal that the bank is confident in its UX and banking offerings. On the other hand, when demos feel generic and inauthentic, prospective client can feel like an afterthought. Our researchers expect the banking industry to continue to build out and improve these immersive platform demos in 2023 and beyond to attract new users and aide those who lack computer literacy.

To receive full access to our Demos and Tutorials report, learn more about our subscription research services for Credit Card here. And check out our Insights section for more best practices and industry trends in the financial services space.

Andrew Woolston

Andrew Woolston is an Analyst on CI's bank and cards team.