|Bank customers are going mobile, or at least trying it, a Federal Reserve survey shows.|
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- A study from the Federal Reserve says 20% of bank customers used mobile banking at least once in the past year, and 20% more say they will use it by the end of 2012. The survey, Consumers and Mobile Financial Services, was released Wednesday. Inside, the report gauges the growth of mobile banking and concludes it's definitely shifting into higher gear.
The Fed pulled together all the survey numbers, did some calculations and now concludes that at least one in three American banking customers who own a smartphone will engage in mobile banking by 2013. The good news for banks -- and for bank customers who want to conduct their financial business via mobile phones -- is that the mobile banking industry hasn't even hit the halfway point in terms of "critical mass." The Pew Research Center says 35% of U.S. adults owned a smartphone as of May, leaving plenty of room for growth in the market. But it's the demographic data that really resonate. According to the Fed, Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 account for about 44% of all mobile banking users, while U.S. adults 60 and older account for only 6% of all users. That in itself isn't a surprise -- younger consumers are usually first in line when using new technologies. But what may be an eye-opener for banks is the fact that the traditionally "under banked" are trending ahead of the rest of the population in terms of mobile banking usage. The Fed report says 29% of consumers who use check-cashing services and/or payday lenders used mobile banking in the past year.