Mobile banking continues to grow in consumer popularity: now neck-and-neck with ATMs.

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MOBILE BANKING IS NOW RUNNING NECK-AND-NECK with ATMs in consumer popularity, according to a recent ABA survey.

Online banking is still America's most popular banking method, but mobile banking is now preferred by 12 percent of consumers--up from 3 percent just five years ago. Thirteen percent of consumers cite ATMs as their preferred banking method--only 1 percentage point more than those who list mobile banking.

The annual survey of 1,000 U.S. adults was conducted for ABA by Ipsos Public Affairs, an independent market research firm, July 8-13, 2015.

This is the seventh year in a row that customers have named the Internet as their favorite outlet for conducting their banking business. Nearly one-third of respondents (32 percent) said it is the method they use most often to manage their bank accounts, up slightly from 31 percent in 2014.

The number of people who preferred visiting a branch fell 4 points to 17 percent, but branch banking remained the second most popular way to bank. ATMs fell slightly to 13 percent. Nessa Feddis, ABA's senior vice president and deputy chief counsel for consumer protection and payments, expects mobile banking's popularity to continue its gradual climb.

"Mobile banking's popularity will continue to grow as banks enhance their mobile functionality and make it easier for consumers to access their accounts anytime and anywhere," says Feddis. "Mobile banking is also an e-banking option for those who don't have a computer but do have a smart phone. As consumers spend more time on their mobile devices, it's...

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