Americans are increasingly using their mobile phones to access bank accounts, credit cards, and other financial accounts, according to the Federal Reserve Board’s latest report on mobile financial services.
As of November 2012, 28 percent of all mobile phone users and 48 percent of smartphone users had used mobile banking in the past 12 months. This represents a significant increase from 21 percent in December 2011 for mobile phone users and 42 percent for smartphone users. While relatively less common, the use of mobile phones to make payments at the point of sale increased threefold over the same period, as 6 percent of smartphone owners reported using their phone to make a purchase.
Mobile devices have increasingly become tools that consumers use for banking, payments, budgeting, and shopping. The Board’s report examines how consumers access their bank’s services using mobile phones (mobile banking), how they pay for goods and services with mobile phones (mobile payments), and how they use mobile phones to inform shopping decisions.
Mobile remote deposit capture doubles
The most common mobile banking activities continue to be reviewing account balances, monitoring recent transactions, or transferring money between accounts. Notably, the use of mobile phones to deposit checks has doubled between surveys, with 21 percent of mobile banking users having deposited a check with their phone in the 12 months prior to November 2012.
Mobile facilitates shopping decisions
Mobile phones are also increasingly used to help make decisions while shopping. Among smartphone owners, 42 percent had used their phone to compare prices while shopping and 44 percent had used their phones to browse product reviews in store. Almost two-thirds of those who had used their phone to do price comparisons changed where they made their purchase based on that information.
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