Fed Report Sheds Light on Mobile Bank Usage

Posted May 14, 2015

Federal Reserve Board Report Details How Consumers Use Their Mobile Phones for Mobile Banking and Mobile Payments

The fourth report by the Federal Reserve Board, “Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2015, is the most recent to survey how consumers access banking and payment services using their mobile phones. The survey of 2,900 people was conducted from December 5 – 21, 2014 by GfK, an online consumer research firm.

Key findings

Following are key findings from the 76-page report. They’ve been extracted from the report itself and from an article on mobilepaymentmagazine.com (link to article) and edited to fit our format.

How consumers access financial services via mobile

  • 39 percent of mobile phone owners with a bank account used mobile banking in the 12 months prior to the survey, up from 33 percent in 2013 and 29 percent in 2012
  • 51 percent of smartphone owners with a bank account used mobile banking in the 12 months prior to the survey, up from 51 percent a year earlier
  • Among mobile phone users with bank accounts who do not currently use mobile banking, 11 percent think they will probably or definitely use it within the next 12 months, down from 12 percent a year earlier.
  • 94 percent of mobile banking is done to check account balances or recent transactions
  • Among mobile banking users, transferring money between an individual’s own accounts (61 percent) and receiving an alert (e.g., a text message, push notification, or e-mail) from their bank (57 percent) are the second and third-most common uses
  • 51 percent of mobile banking users have deposited a check using their mobile phone in the 12 months prior to the survey, up from 38 percent in 2013
  • 22 percent of mobile phone owners reported making a mobile payment in the 12 months prior to the survey, up from 17 percent in 2013 and 15 percent in 2012
  • Among mobile payment users with smartphones, the most common type was paying bills through an online system or mobile app (68 percent, up from 66 percent in 2013).
  • 39 percent of all mobile payment users with smartphones have made a point-of-sale payment using their mobile phone in the 12 months prior to the survey, in line with the 39 percent reporting such payments in 2013

Why some don’t do mobile banking

  • 86 percent of those who did NOT bank using mobile said their banking needs were being met without it
  • 75 percent said they believed it was easier to pay with cash or debit/credit cards
  • Concern about the security of the technology was a common reason given for not using mobile banking or mobile payments (62 percent and 59 percent, respectively)

Mobile phone use among unbanked and underbanked consumers

Note: Unbanked are, of course, people who do not use banks. Underbanked are those individuals or businesses that have poor access to mainstream financial services normally offered by banks

  • 13 percent of consumers are unbanked with 14 percent underbanked
  • Sixty-seven percent of the unbanked have access to a mobile phone, 65 percent of which are smartphones.
  • 90 percent of the underbanked have access to a mobile phone, 73 percent of which are smartphones
  • Forty-eight percent of underbanked consumers had used mobile banking in the 12 months prior to the survey.
ThreatMetrix

ThreatMetrix

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