In Q4 2010, 29.8 million Americans accessed financial services accounts (bank, credit card, or brokerage) via their mobile device, an increase of 54% from 19.3 million in Q4 2009, according to new comScore MobiLens data. In addition, 18.6 million users accessed their financial accounts via mobile browser in Q4 2010, up 58% from 11.8 million the previous year.
Mobile Financial App Users Increase 120%
Other substantial year-over-year Q4 2010 growth in the US mobile financial audience occurred in the area of mobile financial application usage. A total of 10.8 million mobile users accessed their financial accounts via applications, up 120% from 4.9 million. SMS (text message) represented the smallest access point for financial service audiences with 8.1 million users, up 35% from 6 million.
Fixed Devices Most Popular Financial Access Point
Among mobile banking and credit card users, nearly half prefer going online via a fixed device as the primary way to access their accounts, with 47% of mobile banking customers and 44% of mobile credit card users doing so. However, mobile has become an increasingly important access channel, with 36% of mobile credit card users and 26%of mobile banking customers indicating it is their primary method of accessing their accounts.
Only a small segment of these users listed speaking with a representative in person or on the phone as their primary access method.
Smartphone Users More Concerned with Speed, Less with Cost
comScore also analyzed the reasons consumers cite for not utilizing their mobile devices for financial activities. Two major differences among smartphone users and non-smartphone users who do not perform mobile financial activities stood out. Perhaps not surprisingly, 29% of non-smartphone users stated cost as a reason for not accessing these accounts, while only 10% of smartphone users said the same thing (comScore says unlimited data plans void this concern for many smartphone users).
Conversely, 26% of smartphone users also indicated that slow connection speeds hindered their mobile financial service usage, compared to only 9% of non-smartphone-users.
Otherwise, the results indicated that preference for using a fixed online device topped the list for both smartphone and non-smartphone users at 53% and 45%, respectively. Security concerns were also rated highly as a concern among both smartphone users (33%) and non-smartphone users (30%). Demonstrating the overall strong awareness of these services, only 6% of smartphone users and 5% of non-smartphone users stated not knowing about these services as a reason why they did not access these accounts.
Nielsen: Mobile Banking Grows in Popularity
Consumer confidence and comfort levels for mobile banking transactions are at an all-time high, according to November 2010 data from The Nielsen Company. Nielsen examined the mobile banking user and found that 13.2% of US households accessed their bank account via a mobile device in Q2 2010, compared to 20.8% who accessed their account via the bank’s customer service call center.
While mobile access penetration is lower than other channels, it has grown almost 14% from 11.6% in Q1 2010, while call center access has remained relatively flat quarter-over-quarter.
About the Data: The comScore Mobile Financial Advisor is a quarterly report that combines insights from comScore MobiLens (a survey-based service) and comScore Mobile Metrix, a behavioral-based product that uses an opt-in research panel of smartphone owners who have installed comScore’s measurement software on their devices, as well as a dedicated re-contact survey focused on mobile financial service activities.