Customer satisfaction with retail banks climbed to 78 on a 100-point scale this year, up 1.3% from last year.

Source: American Banker Consumer Finance, “Banks’ Customer Satisfaction Returns to Pre-Crisis Levels,” Dec. 10, 2013.

Why are people growing happier with their banks? Think online and mobile banking. Customers who use online banking have direct control over their money, and appreciate the anytime access and easy-to-use online systems.

The surge in popularity of online banking is having a twofold impact — it’s also positively affecting customer service at branch locations. With fewer crowds coming in to bank in person, bankers have the opportunity to provide more attentive and helpful service—and it’s showing in their approval ratings from customers.

Though many financial institutions are reporting improved customer satisfaction, smaller banks and credit unions often have an edge over larger banks by offering accounts with no fees and lower interest rates.