30 Million Americans Use Mobile To Access Financial Needs
In the fourth quarter of 2010, 29.8 million Americans accessed financial services accounts -- including bank, credit card, or brokerage -- via their mobile device, according to new state-of-the-industry research from comScore.
As that represented a 54% increase year-over-year, the state of the mobile financial services market is good.
"More people are turning to the convenience of mobile devices for their financial-service needs, fueled in part by the adoption of smartphones, 3G devices and unlimited data plans," said Sarah Lenart, comScore vice president. "The ubiquitous nature of mobile devices affords financial brands an important channel to reach and engage customers, whether it's at home, work or on-the-go."
In total, 29.8 million Americans accessed financial-service accounts via their mobile device -- browser or application - during the fourth quarter of the year. 18.6 million users accessed their financial accounts via mobile browser during the same period -- up 58% from the previous year -- while 10.8 million accessed their accounts via applications -- up 120%.
Text message represented the smallest access point for financial service audiences with 8.1 million users -- up 35%.
"As brands compete for customer loyalty in this competitive market, marketers will need to focus on continually improving the mobile customer experience," Lenart added.
Among mobile banking and credit card users, nearly half preferred going online via a fixed device as the primary way to access their accounts, with 47% of mobile banking customers and 44% of mobile credit card users doing so.
Mobile has become an increasingly important access channel -- with 36% of mobile credit card users and 26% of mobile banking customers indicating it is their primary method of accessing their accounts. Only a small segment of these users listed speaking with a representative in person or on the phone as their primary access method, according to comScore.
ComScore also analyzed the reasons consumers cite for not utilizing their mobile devices for financial activities. The results indicated that preference for using a fixed online device topped the list for both smartphone and non-smartphone users at 53% and 45%, respectively.
Security concerns were also rated highly as a concern among both smartphone users -- 33% -- and non-smartphone users -- 30%. Also, 29% of non-smartphone users stated cost as a reason for not accessing these accounts, while only 10% of smartphone users said the same thing.
Finally, 26% of smartphone users also indicated that slow connection speeds hindered their mobile financial service usage. Demonstrating the overall strong awareness of these services, only 6% of smartphone users and 5% of non-smartphone users stated not knowing about these services as a reason why they did not access these accounts.