Financial Wellness

The Fundamentals Of Financial Mobility

Access to digital tools empower Americans to take control of their finances

A new survey from KeyBank reveals connection between financial savviness & use of digital banking tools. Access the finding from the survey here.

CLEVELAND, April 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — After a year in which many consumers had to rely heavily on digital tools for their financial needs, self-reported “financial experts” use digital tools more often than others, according to the KeyBank 2022 Financial Mobility Survey—highlighting a potential correlation between savviness, confidence, and the usage of digital banking tools.

Four in ten Americans say that access to digital banking tools make them feel empowered to take control of their finances, the highest-reported feeling among respondents. Self-reported financial experts, who more heavily relied on digital banking tools this year, are more likely to say they are very confident in growing their finances (71%), when compared to those who report being less savvy and have less experience with digital banking tools.

The KeyBank 2022 Financial Mobility Survey polled more than 1,000 Americans on their financial and work-related priorities after nearly a year of living through a pandemic, revealing the steps they have taken to become more financially mobile.

Additionally, one in four survey respondents (23%) say they have more experience with digital banking in 2021, vs. 2020. Of those survey respondents who report their financial savviness as “expert,” nearly half (44%) say they relied more on digital banking tools in 2021 than the year prior. Comparatively, of those who report their financial savviness as “savvier than most,” “somewhat savvy” and “not financially savvy,” just 24%, 18% and 17%, respectively, say they relied more on digital banking tools in 2021 than the year prior.

“The growth in adoption of digital banking tools among consumers further solidifies their mindset of feeling savvy and confident in managing their own finances, while also looking for ease of access and efficiency of doing it at home or on-the-go,” said Jamie Warder, Executive Vice President and Head of Digital Banking at KeyBank. “As we continue down the path of digitally rooted banking experiences, it’s important for banks and financial institutions to push for education and adoption among all demographics, so no consumer is left behind.”

Younger Americans Crave a “Phygital” Approach

Despite the rise in reliance on digital banking tools in 2021, Millennials and Gen Zers—i.e., those under age 35—prefer a combination of digital and in-person banking more often than older Americans, who would rather exclusively use digital banking tools—a surprising discovery for technology-forward younger generations who often identify as digital natives.

Over the past year, we have seen our clients increasingly crave digital support, but the broader truth remains: We have to meet clients where they are on their individual journeys...

“Digital banking helped many Americans weather the pandemic storm and stay connected to their financial health during lockdowns. Yet we are now seeing a growing number of younger individuals desiring the human connection and personalized financial advice provided by a banking professional,” said Warder. “This is especially the case as these individuals navigate the uncertainty and risk associated with ‘financial firsts,’ such as purchasing a home, buying a car or having a child.”

While the pandemic accelerated the adoption of online and mobile banking, the findings of KeyBank’s study show that consumers are continuing to seek guidance from trusted financial advisors to help chart a path forward, while still leveraging technology-enabled services to move up the wealth spectrum.

“Over the past year, we have seen our clients increasingly crave digital support, but the broader truth remains: We have to meet clients where they are on their individual journeys,” said Justin Hunsaker, Senior Vice President and Head of Digital Wellness and Originations at KeyBank. “For some clients, that will mean a fully digital solution, while others will want in-person expert advice. For most, the best solution will involve combining both digital and in-person financial choices for a seamless banking experience, rather than friction and confusion that having separate options may cause.”

The increased reliance on digital banking tools helped many Americans maintain healthy financial habits to endure economic uncertainty. As of June 2021, KeyBank’s Digitally Active clients signed on (to either desktop or mobile) an average of 20.2 times per month, proving the acceleration of digital tool adoption.




This survey was conducted online by Schmidt Market Research. 1,081 Americans, ages 18-70 with sole or shared responsibility for household financial decisions, that own a checking or savings account; completed the survey between Sept. 30 and Oct. 2, 2021 The survey asked respondents about their financial attitudes, understanding, awareness and actions over the prior year.
About KeyCorp
KeyCorp’s (NYSE: KEY) roots trace back nearly 200 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $186.3 billion at December 31, 2021. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of approximately 1,000 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications, and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit KeyBank is Member FDIC.