NEW YORK (
) -- More consumers are turning to their phones to take care of their banking needs, according to data from the Federal Reserve.
A late-November study,
Consumers and Mobile Financial Services
, showed that 28% of mobile-phone owners have used mobile banking in the past 12 months, an increase from the 21% found in a December 2011 study. Another 10% of the mobile owners who are not using mobile banking plan to do so in the next year.
Smartphone owners are even more likely to use mobile banking: 48% of smartphone owners used mobile banking in the past year compared with 42% in 2011.
A notable finding in the study was that 49% of underbanked consumers say they have used mobile banking in the past 12 months.
Of the mobile banking users, 87% use their phones to check their balance or a recent transaction, while 53% report using it to transfer money between accounts.
The use of mobile phones to depositing checks is increasing dramatically: 21% of mobile banking customers have used their device for this purpose, twice the number found in 2011.
Security is a major hurdle for greater consumer acceptance of mobile banking. Of the consumers not using mobile banking, nearly half (49%) said it was because of security concerns. The No. 1 reason given was that their banking requirements were being met without seeing a need to bank by phone.
Mobile payments are not nearly as widespread as mobile banking. Only 15% of all mobile phone owners have made a mobile payment in the past 12 months. This was only a slight increase from the 12% in the 2011 study. Security concerns were the primary reason cited by mobile phone owners for not using mobile payments.