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Mobile banking important to consumers: Study

November 12, 2009

mobile-bankingAdults ages 18-32 strongly evaluate availability of online and mobile banking services when making decisions about financial institutions, according to research by PSCU Financial Services.

This young and mobile generation requires access to financial accounts and information to be immediately available on the Web and on the go. Mobile Commerce Daily’s Chris Harnick interviewed Jim Major, communications director at PSCU Financial Services, St. Petersburg, FL, regarding the mobile banking study.

What was the key finding in regards to mobile banking?
Mobile banking usage is projected to increase dramatically from its current use in 4 million U.S. households to over 40 million households by 2015. Additionally, and not surprisingly, the Generation Y demographic (ages 18 to 32) is expected to be the driving force behind this increase in usage. 

What was the most surprising study in regards to mobile banking?
The potential for mobile banking is enormous when one considers that we’re approaching the point where over 60 percent of retail banking customers have cell phones. So the infrastructure is solidly in place for financial institutions to reach consumers through this channel.

What can financial institutions learn from this study?
Demand for mobile access will skyrocket because mobile devices are typically with their owners at all times, so they can be used for instant two-way communications of banking information; smartphones in particular always know where their users are so they offer enhanced security, and mobile banking is becoming the most powerful and versatile way to deliver banking services. The mobile banking channel may well be the single most powerful tool a financial institution can deploy to reach and retain the Gen Y consumer segment.

What advice can you give financial institutions in regards to mobile banking?
Financial institutions should understand that eventually, everyone will have access to their accounts via a mobile device of some sort. Financial institutions should not ignore the sheer volume of users initiating the kinds of transactions that drive revenue and the device’s value as a  marketing conduit.

Why are younger consumers demanding more mobile banking?
They are a mobile demographic by nature and they’re very comfortable with online technology and interactions; they spend more time now with their hand-held devices than their in-home computers or laptops. Smartphones in particular offer users the convenience of one-button access, so they are quick and easy to use for people on the go.

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Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor at Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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