Payment technology

Fed study finds use of mobile banking services increasing

Money Phone MobileA survey released by the Federal Reserve on Tuesday revealed the use of mobile banking services is on the rise, with increasing popularity among the underbanked.

The report, which examined trends in the use of mobile financial services, showed that in December 2013, 33 percent of all mobile phone users and 51 percent of smartphone users had used mobile banking—compared to 28 percent and 48 percent in 2012, respectively.

Consumers most commonly used mobile banking services to review account balances and recent transactions and to transfer funds between accounts.

Among the underbanked population—approximately 17 percent, according to the Fed—39 percent of consumers with mobile phones used mobile banking services last year. The study also said mobile phones may extend financial services to an additional 10 percent of consumers considered to be unbanked—those without a bank account—because of the high rates of mobile device use among the demographic.

Despite the rising popularity of mobile banking, the report indicated that 50 percent of individuals who do not use the services are becoming increasingly skeptical of the benefits and security of the technology.

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