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Mobile banking grew 63pc year-to-year: study

In the “Mobile banking, smartphone and tablet forecast: 2011-2016” study, Javelin took a look at the current state of mobile banking and where it is headed in the next five years. The report also presented how mobile banking stacks up between large and smaller financial institutions.

“At first, there are always barriers with financial institutions setting up mobile banking solutions, but once a bank gets it, it clicks,” said  Mary Monahan, executive vice president and research director of mobile at Javelin, Pleasanton, CA.

Javelin’s study included answers from more than 10,000 United States consumers and was conducted with online surveys.

Bank on mobile
By 2016, 111 million consumers are expected to be using mobile banking, which will be equivalent to 60 percent of mobile phone ownership.

Fifty percent of smartphone owners currently use mobile banking compared to 14 percent of feature phone users, showing how a full mobile banking strategy including applications, mobile Web and SMS are most effective.

The study found some interesting stats about how small credit unions and financial institutions are lagging behind in mobile.

Out of the consumers who were clients of the top four U.S. banks, 37 percent of survey respondents had used the company’s mobile banking services in the past 90 days.

At medium-sized banks, 22 percent of respondents had used mobile banking in the past 3 months. The number slumped at small credit unions with only 14 percent of consumers using mobile.

“Credit unions pride themselves as promoting customer service, so mobile banking is an area that they cannot fall behind on,” Ms. Monahan said.

Ninety-two percent of the country’s top 25 banks offer mobile banking, showing the importance for financial institutions of all sizes to keep up.

The study also broke down each mobile banking channel to look at overall trends.

Mobile Web was the No. 1 way consumers accessed mobile banking features with 62 percent of respondents saying that they had used the channel.

However, when looking specifically at large banks, the data flips. Sixty-two percent of mobile banking consumers at large financial institutions use mobile apps, 70 percent used SMS and 46 percent used mobile Web.

Twelve percent of smartphone owners who do not use mobile banking currently said they planned to use it in the next year.

Eighty-eight percent of consumers will own a mobile phone by 2016, showing the growth in the channel and an opportunity that marketers cannot miss out on.

Safe bet
In addition to trends, the study found that security remains the biggest concern for consumers with mobile banking.

According to the research, tablets are playing an increased role by financial institutions with 16 million tablet owners in the U.S. The number of tablet users is expected to increase 113 percent in the next year and will reach 87 million consumers by 2016.

Approximately 50 percent of tablet owners in the survey said they had used their device for mobile banking in the last 90 days, and one-third had used mobile banking in the last week.

IPad devices account for 50 percent of market share. Android tablets raked in 29 percent of the tablet market. Windows tablets generated 18 percent of market share, and BlackBerry tablets brought in 15 percent.

Given the market share, it should come as no surprise which mobile platforms financial institutions are developing for. Of the top 25 banks Javelin surveyed, 30 percent had tablet-specific mobile apps and 100 percent of the apps were developed for iPad devices.

“Tablets are the next frontier and will be a game-changer for mobile banking,” Ms. Monahan said.

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