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Mobile banking app usage grows 74 percent in a year: comScore

February 3, 2012

Mobile bankers are highly engaged

The use of mobile banking apps is growing quickly as consumers look for ways to easily access their financial information while on the go, according to a new report from comScore.

While the 2011 State of Online and Mobile Banking report shows that app usage among mobile bankers is up 74 percent from nearly a year ago, it also indicates there is still significant room for usage to grow. The report also shows that mobile bankers are highly engaged customers.

“A significant percentage of mobile bankers are extremely engaged, with nearly three-quarters indicating that they interact with a bank from their mobile device at least once a week,” said Nathan Frederiksen, director of marketing solutions for the financial services vertical at comScore, Reston, VA. “This level of engagement closely mirrors usage frequencies that we see with account servicing via a desktop or laptop computer.

“While there’s strong awareness of mobile banking offerings/functionality, traction in terms of usage continues to lag,” he said. “This may be a function of continued concerns around security.”

Browser usage dominates
In the second quarter of 2011, there were 36.7 million mobile financial users, or 16 percent of the total mobile universe, who accessed banking, credit card, insurance or brokerage information from a mobile device.

By financial segment, 32.5 million accessed banking information from a mobile device, more than any other group within the mobile financial sector and having grown 30 percent compared with the previous year.

The banking activities conducted most often from a mobile device are checking balances and viewing transactions.

An infusion of mobile apps that allow access to both banking and credit card accounts associated with a single financial institution helped drive up the number of mobile users who accessed credit card information to 18.4 million.

Additionally, 7.2 million accessed insurance information and 9.6 million accessed brokerage information.

App usage among mobile bankers is growing quickly, up 74 percent from the previous year. App usage among mobile credit card users also increased considerably, up 58 percent.

A total of 13.7 million mobile consumers access mobile banking information via an app and 6.3 million access credit card information via an app.

However, browser usage continues to dominate with 17.6 million mobile users accessing mobile banking information via a mobile browser and 10.4 million mobile users accessing credit card information via a mobile browser.

Refine and communicate
Mobile bankers are also highly engaged, with nearly three-quarters indicating that they interact with a bank from their mobile device at least once a week.

Those who utilize a mobile device for banking tend to be younger and more affluent, with 3 out of every 5 mobile bankers between the ages of 18-34. This is more than double the percentage of those who do not take advantage of mobile banking offerings represented by this demographic.

Mobile bankers are also twice as likely to have a household income of $100K or more than non-users.

As client servicing via the mobile channel becomes a regular mode of contact for mobile users, banks must provide a user-friendly mobile experience that meets customer needs.

“Banks need to refine and communicate a compelling enough value proposition that leverages unique mobile capabilities and functionality to encourage customers to modify their behaviors from the more traditional methods of banking,” Mr. Frederiksen said.

“There still seems to be a lot of room for banks to refine their strategies and increase their capabilities around mobile transfer and payment capabilities, to compete with other payment options,” he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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