Increase in Mobile Usage Impacts Banking Industry

A growing number of Americans rely on their mobile phones to access the Internet, utilize money-saving applications and engage social networking websites. But a new survey shows consumers are also using their smartphones to manage their finances.

The results of the study – conducted by strategy consulting and research firm Mercatus – suggest that as mobile ownership increases, consumers are being more selective about the financial institutions they choose, opting for those that offer mobile banking features. The study shows that smartphones make up roughly 50 percent of all phones owned, an increase from one-third of cellphones owned last year. In addition, the study shows phone usage is actually down, while texting, Internet access and other functions have increased.

“With mobile emerging as a critical bank selection criteria, mobile capabilities become extremely important to a bank’s new customer acquisition and growth strategies,” said Mercatus partner Teresa Epperson. “This year, 35 percent of consumers told us that mobile was an ‘extremely important or important’ consideration in their selection of a new primary bank, up from 20 percent one year ago.”

A larger number of banks now offer mobile banking to customers who are enrolled in online banking accounts. Individuals can use mobile banking to inquire into their balance, transfer money and in some cases, deposit checks.

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