Mobile Financial Service Users Grow 54% YOY

March 25, 2011

comscore-mobile-financial-audience-mar-2011.JPGIn 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

comscore-finance-primary-method-mar-2011.JPGAmong 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-mobile-finance-why-not-mar-2010.JPGcomScore 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.

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