Bankers love mobile banking. Consumers? Not so much. According to a recent study by the Boston branch of the Federal Reserve, over 65% of Americans use online banking websites to manage their accounts and pay bills.
But only 10% use smartphones and other mobile devices to do it. Not only that, people have been much slower to start mobile banking than they were to try banking online. For example, only three percent of survey respondents have ever made a payment using a mobile device.
“People may be satisfied with the payment instruments and methods they now have, and they don’t see a lot of value in adding mobile payment to the mix,” Joanna Stavins, Senior Economist and Policy Advisor at the Fed’s Consumer Payments Research Center, said in the report. “Concerns about security might be on their minds as well.”
Many bankers like the idea of mobile banking because it requires far fewer employees to handle electronic payments than transactions conducted in branches or by paper check. Mobile banking also reinforces brand awareness, since customers are walking around with mobile versions of their bank sitting right in their pockets. According to a recent study by Fundtech, a banking services contractor, 54% of bank executives said that developing mobile banking services is a “top or very important priority.”
Customers don’t seem to care about bankers’ priorities, however. The most common way to access bank services—by far—remains going to the bank and talking to a human being. Branch visits account for 77.4% of all consumers’ interactions with their banks, the Fed found. ATMs came in second, at 69%.
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Image: Francesco Pappalardo, via Flickr.com