The numbers have it and, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve, mobile banking usage is soaring as it keeps close pace with mobile phone adoption.
According to the Fed: “As of November 2012, 28% of all mobile phone users and 48% of smartphone users had used mobile banking in the past 12 months. This is a significant increase from 21% in December 2011 for mobile phone users and 42% 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, with 6% of smartphone owners having used their phone to make a purchase.”
Findings in the report that drive home how broadly mobile phones are changing everything:
* 87% of U.S. adults own a mobile phone
* 87% of smartphone users have used their phones to access the Internet in the past week.
That easy Internet access means many consumers now have a bank in their pocket, as it were, and many are beginning to use that mobile service, said the Fed.
Then the report turns the spotlight on the presently unbanked, constituting around 10% of the U.S. adult population, the same number as the underbanked. But 59% of the unbanked have access to a mobile phone. 90% of the underbanked do. And, said the Fed, 49% of the underbanked report using mobile banking in the past 12 months. Unbanked mobile banking usage may also nudge higher.
The bottom line, per the Fed: Watch for climbing interest among the underbanked in particular in mobile banking.
The Fed report continued: “The adoption of mobile banking has increased substantially in the past year. Nearly 28% of mobile phone users in the survey report that they used mobile banking in the past 12 months.
“This is an increase of a third from the 21% of mobile phone users who indicated that they used mobile banking in the 2011 survey. Use of mobile banking is substantially higher for smartphone users at 48%, up from 42% in 2011. The higher incidence of mobile banking adoption among smartphone users suggests that as smartphone adoption increases, so too will adoption of mobile banking.”