Demand for Mobile Financial Services Grows: eMarketer

Most smartphone users access accounts via browsers, not apps

FEBRUARY 16, 2010 – While mobile coupon and mobile commerce usage may not have grown as quickly as many marketers hoped, Americans appear to be eagerly adopting mobile banking.

The “Mobile Money Study” by Data Innovation found that a strong majority of US smartphone users (68.7%) had accessed banking or other financial services on their mobile phone in the past three months.

The top activity was checking account balances, followed by looking for posted transactions. Nearly three in 10 smartphone users paid bills via mobile, and many used nonbanking financial services, such as paying credit card bills (more than 50%).

More than 65% of smartphone users said their mobile browser was their primary vehicle for mobile banking, compared with less than one-fifth who preferred mobile apps. Earlier data from comScore also found browsers more popular than apps, but with a much smaller lead (44.1% versus 40.6%). Banking via SMS lost ground since the comScore survey, when one-quarter of smartphone users did so.

A majority of respondents also said they would be interested in the possibility of a �mobile wallet,� which would allow users to swipe mobile phones like credit or debit cards and would store data such as loyalty cards and coupons. Another one-quarter were unsure about the idea.

Adoption of advanced financial services via mobile is even more surprising considering security firm RSA found that just 11% of mobile banking users worldwide felt very secure when banking on their cellphone.

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