More consumers are turning to their phones to take care of their banking needs according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve.
The study, entitled Consumers and Mobile Financial Services and done in late November, showed that 28% of mobile phone owners have used mobile banking in the past 12 months, an increase from 21% found with a December 2011 study. Another 10% of the mobile owners who are not currently using mobile banking plan to do so in the next year.
Smartphone owners are even more likely to use mobile banking: 48% of smartphone owners used mobile banking in the past year compared to 42% in 2011.
A notable finding in the study was that 49% of underbanked consumers say they have used mobile banking in the last 12 months.
Of the mobile banking users, 87% use their phones to check their balance or a recent transaction while 53% report using it to transfer money between accounts.
Depositing checks through a mobile phone is dramatically increasing: 21% of mobile banking customers have used their device for this purpose, twice the number found in 2011.
Security is a major hurdle standing in the way of greater consumer acceptance of mobile banking. Of the consumers not using mobile banking, nearly half (49%) said it was because of security concerns. However, the number one reason given was that their banking requirements were being met without seeing a need to bank by phone.
Making mobile payments is not nearly as widespread as mobile banking. Only 15% of all mobile phone owners have made a mobile payment in the last 12 months. This was only a slight increase from the 12% in the 2011 study. Security concerns were the primary reason cited by mobile phone owners for not making mobile payments.