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23pc of smartphone owners use device for mobile banking: study

August 29, 2012

North America leads in mobile banking

Even though smartphone ownership has reached more than half of consumers in Britain, only a small percentage are using their devices for complex banking, according to a new study from the Auriemma Consulting Group.

Auriemma Consulting Group’s “Mobile Payments Report” takes a look at how the services that banks offer on mobile do not match consumers’ growing expectations. The study found that mobile banking with basic features such as checking balances or paying bills have a particularly high penetration.

“What we are really saying is that 52 percent of consumers have a smartphone and use them frequently – it is an engaged audience that we can reach out to but right now we are not giving them the right tools for the job,” said Mark Jackson, director of the Auriemma Consulting Group, London.

“It is about enabling consumers to interact with their banks and financial institutions in a way that they want to interact with ways that they want to interact,” he said.

Bank on mobile
Auriemma Consulting Group looked at two demographics in the study – desktop and mobile bankers.

The average income for a smartphone owner in the study was approximately $51,520 when converted from British pounds to American dollars. To compare, the average income for the overall population in the study was $45,087.

Smartphone users also tend to be younger. The average age of a consumer with a smartphone in the study was 39-years-old. The overall average of the group was 44-years-old.

Given that British smartphone owners have a higher income and are younger, they most likely want to be able to also perform more complex banking tasks via their mobile devices.

When it comes to mobile versus desktop uses, the gap between basic and more complex features being used is blatantly apparent.

For instance, 48.3 percent of desktop bankers pay bills online compared to 17.5 percent of mobile users. More than 52 percent of desktop users transferred money while only 20 percent of smartphone users did. Almost 38 percent of desktop users transferred money to others via mobile with 18.3 percent of mobile users doing the same.

Reviewing account balances is commonly used with both groups of bankers. More than 69 percent of mobile users and 87.5 percent of desktop clients use the service.

Location-based features favor mobile users. Ten percent of mobile bankers used their devices to look up bank or ATM locations compared to 2.4 percent of desktop users. Similarly, 22.5 percent of mobile users received SMS alerts against 3.4 percent of opted-in desktop users.

Pay on mobile
The report also looks at the demand for a mobile wallet from consumers.

The report found that 45.4 percent of consumers have heard of a mobile wallet. Forty-eight percent of those consumers were interested in having a mobile wallet.

Almost 45 percent of consumers surveyed viewed a mobile wallet important for making in-store purchases. Almost 37 percent of consumers thought viewed mobile wallets as being important for making online transactions.

More than 18 percent of consumers said that they would prefer to use a mobile wallet from banks and payment companies, showing the high level of both trust and interest that consumers have in getting a mobile wallet from their bank.

“In the long term where mobile is going is that we need to see it as an embedded channel,” Mr. Jackson said.

“The extend and scale that mobile becomes an effective part of the industry depends on how well the banks can service consumers,” he said.

“Consumers don’t care how which way they are serviced – it just has to be simple and useful for them.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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