NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- There's no doubt mobile banking is growing. Data from the Federal Reserve show 51% of U.S. smartphone users have used mobile banking in the past year, and 12% who don't use it now say they will next year.
But mobile banking won't reach its full potential until there's an answer for a major consumer anxiety: Banks that fail to secure their personal data.
So says Deloitte in a study released Tuesday, Raising the Bar on Customer Engagement Through Mobile Financial Services.
Of all smartphone owners who don't use mobile banking, 61% say it's because of "security" issues, and consumers who do use mobile banking limit it to "routine transactions," Deloitte says -- because about 33% of consumers just don't trust Wi-Fi security, and 28% worry they will lose their mobile phones and their personal financial data in the process.
But the banking industry, working with technology providers, have a security plan for mobile banking users.
"There are tremendous opportunities for innovation within financial services still, whether in video, biometrics and GPS," says Jim Eckenrode, executive director of the Deloitte Center for Financial Services. "The industry which has already spilled a lot of blood, sweat and tears in this area has merely scratched the surface in using mobile technologies to connect and strengthen relationships with customers."
"The biggest area of opportunity seems to be in the security area, rather than a certain mobile app or a new shiny feature," Eckenrode says. "To boost adoption and set the stage for more ambitious applications, companies will likely have to take tangible steps to reassure consumers about the security of their mobile financial transactions."