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Monday, April 11, 2016

Mobile banking up, mobile payments flat

Mobile banking use continued to rise in 2015, as more U.S. residents got the smartphone bug. This is according to Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2016, a new report from the Federal Reserve. The report is the fifth from the Fed in as many years and examines how consumers use mobile devices to access banking services, make payments and make financial decisions.

According to the Fed’s data, 87 percent of adult Americans had mobile phones as of November 2015. This number has remained unchanged since 2013. What has changed is the share of those devices that are Internet-enabled (smart) phones: 71 percent in 2015, up from 61 percent a year earlier.

Mobile adoption data points

Here are additional data points from the Fed’s report:

  • 52 percent of smartphone owners with bank accounts used mobile banking last year, up from 51 percent in 2014.
  • Only 11 percent of smartphone owners with bank accounts who do not use mobile banking thought they might begin doing so this year.
  • Consumers in metropolitan areas are more inclined to use mobile banking services than are those in rural areas. Just 33 percent of adults in non-metro areas reported using mobile banking services, compared to 39 percent of those living in metro areas.
  • The most common use of mobile banking is checking account balances or recent transactions (94 percent of mobile bankers).
  • Among mobile bankers, transferring money between accounts and receiving text message alerts, are the second and third most common activities, with 61 percent and 57 percent of uses of mobiles for banking respectively.
  • 22 percent of all mobile phone users reported making payments in the previous 12 months, up from 17 percent in 2013. Most of these transactions were bill payments
  • 39 percent of mobile payments users with smartphones had made POS payments with the devices during the previous 12 months, which has remained unchanged since 2012.
  • Among mobile payment users with smartphones who made POS payments, 31 percent did so by scanning a bar code or QR code displayed on the device screen.
  • 47 percent of smartphone users have used the devices to comparison shop while inside stores, and 33 percent used the devices to scan product barcodes in order to find best available prices.
  • Among those consumers who used their mobiles to comparison shop, 69 percent changed their minds about where to make their purchases based on this information.

Lack of urgency

Researchers identified consumers’ limited demand for mobile banking and payments as “a continuing impediment to adoption, stating in the report that “many consumers said their needs were already being met without mobile banking or payments, that they were comfortable with non-mobile options, and that they did not see a clear benefit from using either service.

“In addition, around one in five (22 percent) of those with mobile phones and bank accounts indicated they do not know if their bank or credit union offers mobile banking, which may be consistent with a lack of interest in these services among a portion of the population. Concerns about the security of mobile banking and mobile payment technologies are also frequently cited as reasons why consumers chose not to adopt these technologies.” end of article

Editor's Note:

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