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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rise in consumer use of mobile financial services

According to the latest findings from the Federal Reserve Board, consumer use of mobile phones for accessing bank accounts, credit cards and other financial accounts has increased in most segments of the U.S. population over the past year.

In December 2011, the Federal Reserve Board completed its first survey of consumer use of mobile financial services. A report on the survey published in March 2012 revealed that 21 percent of mobile phone users and 42 percent of smart-phone users had conducted mobile banking in the prior 12 months.

A subsequent survey, conducted in November 2012, revealed 28 percent of mobile phone users and 48 percent of smart-phone users had performed mobile banking in the past 12 months, up 7 percent and 6 percent, respectively, over the first survey.

Big market for underserved

The Fed's November 2012 survey also found that use of mobile financial services is prevalent among the 10 percent of the U.S. population who are underbanked. Of the 90 percent who own mobile phones in this group, 49 percent had used mobile banking, up from the 29 percent noted in the previous survey. The Fed also found that of the unbanked U.S. population, 59 percent own mobile phones and could be tapped for mobile financial services.

Among the most popular mobile banking activities with those surveyed were reviewing account balances, monitoring transactions and transferring funds between accounts. However, mobile check deposit activity showed a considerable gain between surveys, doubling in adoption to 21 percent of mobile phone users surveyed, the Fed reported.

To view summary findings from the Federal Reserve Board survey conducted by GfK, see Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2013, available at: www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/consumers-and-mobile-financial-services-report-201303.pdf (PDF). end of article

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