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Mobile banking adoption to reach 50pc by 2016: study

Mobile banking is gaining traction and is expected to reach 50 percent of consumers by 2016, according to a new study from global business advisory firm AlixPartners.

The “Mobile Financial Service Tracking Study” looked at mobile banking trends over the next five years and predicted areas of growth. The study also compared how certain banks are stacking up in their mobile efforts.

Mobile switch
According to the study, mobile bankers tend to be higher-income consumers and hold more products within their accounts.

Mobile banking also played a large role for consumers who were thinking about switching financial institutions. According to the study, 39 percent of consumers who switched banks in the past six months said that mobile was an important factor when choosing a bank.

Additionally, of the consumers who were on the fence about their financial institution, 65 percent said the ability to deposit a check via their mobile device would be the No. 1 reason why they would switch banks. The number is a 22 percent year-over-year increase, showing the growth that mobile banking has made over the past year.

Sixty-two percent of the consumers surveyed in the study owned a smartphone during the fourth quarter of 2011. To compare in the fourth quarter of 2009, 32 percent of survey respondents said that they owned a smartphone, showing the growth that the devices have seen over the past two years.

Mobile age
Mobile banking is also primarily used by younger consumers, according to the research. Overall, 15 percent of consumers surveyed in the fourth quarter of 2011 said that they used mobile banking, which is up from 12 percent in the second quarter of 2011.

Twenty-nine percent of consumers aged 26-34 use mobile banking compared to 10 percent of consumers 45-54 years old.

With more sophisticated options including applications and mobile Web sites, smartphone users in particular are using mobile banking. Thirty-five of all smartphone owners in the fourth quarter of 2011 used mobile banking compared to 33 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York