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Millennials and Gen Z are the most likely to use mobile banking apps—here's why, plus budgeting tips

The latest Chase Digital Banking Attitudes Study found that Millennials and Gen Z use mobile banking apps for budgeting, checking credit scores, and creating savings goals.

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Mobile banking is a convenient way to manage your money on the go and continues to grow in popularity. In fact, 54% of consumers agreed that they use digital banking tools more now, due to the pandemic, than they did last year, according to the Digital Banking Attitudes Study by Chase.

"The pandemic has demonstrated that digital banking is essential for consumers of all ages to confidently manage their finances," Allison Beer, Head of Digital at Chase, said in the press release.

It comes as no surprise that millennials and Gen Z are the two groups who are using mobile banking apps the most. The study found that 99% of Gen Z and 98% of millennials use a mobile banking app for a wide range of tasks, including viewing account balances, checking their credit score and depositing a check. Gen X and Boomers use mobile banking apps less (86.5% and 69.5%, respectively), but the ones who do are still in the majority.

Consumers mobile banking app activities, by generation

Generation Total Gen Z Millennials Gen X Boomers
View account balances86.5%86%89.5%86.5%78%
View account statements68%62%73.5%67%61.5%
Transfer money between bank accounts64%65.5%71.5%60.5%50%
Deposit checks59.5%58%66%54%53.5%
Pay bills49%45.5%53%50%40.5%
Check credit score32%28.5%56.5%30%20%
Use peer-to-peer payments24%20%31%21.5%14.5%
Use online chat to ask a question16.5%18%27.5%13%12.5%
Create and track a budget13.5%25%17.5%9%4%
View a forecast of monthly spending13%17%18%9.5%4.5%
Create a savings goal and track progress12%21.5%18%5.5%2%
Open a new bank account9.5%11.5%12%7%5.5%

Millennials and Gen Z overwhelmingly complete numerous tasks with mobile banking apps, whereas older generations are less likely to use mobile check deposits and transfer money between accounts.

Despite the generational differences, mobile banking is not going anywhere: Most financial institutions, including banks and credit card issuers, now provide customers with user-friendly mobile apps for their smartphones. The Chase Mobile app, for instance, is available to Chase Sapphire℠ Checking account holders, as well as Chase Freedom Flex℠ cardholders.

While a mobile banking app is a great asset, it's not necessarily a one-stop shop to managing your finances because it may be limited to the accounts you have at one bank. If you have multiple accounts from different banks and want a holistic way to manage your money, consider creating a budget spreadsheet or signing up for a budgeting app like Mint or You Need a Budget.

In order to create your own budget method with similar functionality to an app, following these five steps:

  1. Calculate your net income
  2. List monthly expenses
  3. Label fixed and variable expenses
  4. Determine average monthly costs for each expense
  5. Make adjustments

Learn more with our step-by-step guide on how to create a budget.

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*The study surveyed Chase customers and non-Chase customers separately, but the data is very similar. For the purpose of this article, we averaged both responses to get a holistic view of all customer digital banking attitudes.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.