Fed report: Mobile banking use increased last year

220px-IPhone_keyboard_unblurredRecent data from the Federal Reserve revealed that mobile banking among phone users increased to 28 percent last year from 21 percent in 2011, while mobile banking among smartphone users increased to 48 percent from 42 percent.

Mobile devices have been increasingly used to access financial services and accounts. The Federal Reserve Board conducted the Survey of Consumers’ Use of Mobile Financial Services in late November to explore trends in the use of mobile financial services and to determine how the increasing popularity of the technology affects consumer behavior in the overall economy.

Mobile financial services are especially popular among the 10 percent of the US population that is underbanked. Of the 90 percent of underbanked consumers with mobile devices, 49 percent had used mobile banking within the previous year, an increase from 29 percent when the Fed first conducted the survey in December 2011.

The Fed report also revealed that consumes remain skeptical of the potential benefits of mobile banking services, as well as the security associated with using the technology, despite a 33 percent increase in mobile banking between 2011 and last year. More than 50 percent of mobile phone users who do not use mobile banking services indicated that they have no interest in accessing the services.

Additionally, most mobile banking customers use the services to review account balances, review recent transactions or transfer funds between accounts. Mobile phones are also used more often to help make purchasing decisions. Forty-two percent of smartphone users had used their phone to compare prices in-store, and almost two-thirds of those consumers had changed the purchasing location based on the price comparison information.

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