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Users bank on mobile to manage money: IAB

The “Mobile and Money” report found that 58 percent of respondents regularly use their bank’s mobile app while another 25 percent are aware of the app but have not used it. Additionally, 42 percent are paying mobile phone bills via their smartphones and 46 percent are paying other types of bills, point to the smartphone’s growing role as a digital wallet.

“Clearly, mobile users are leaning into their devices for personal finance assistance wherever and whenever they happen to have a need,” said Anna Bager, vice President and general manager of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at IAB, New York.

“Most financial apps already contain rock-solid security, but consumers seem not to be as plugged into that fact, and that knowledge gap can make all the difference in driving further usage and adoption,” she said. “This is an area that financial services marketers should pay attention to in their future campaigns.”

Money management
The “Mobile and Money” report is based on a March 2013 survey of Viggle registered users who were 18 years or older. Viggle, a companion app for watching TV, has an audience that is technology- and media-savvy.

A significant number of consumers are leveraging mobile devices to manage their money.

In addition to app users, 50 percent of respondents use their bank’s mobile-optimized Web site while another 26 percent are aware of the mobile banking option, but have not used it.

However, the report also finds that some users are worried about security issues when it comes to their banks’ mobile offerings. This is something financial services marketers need to better address, with 52 percent saying that in order to shift more personal finance activities to their mobile device, they need a concrete “guarantee” that financial transactions are safe, even if they lose their phone.

Additionally, 46 percent stated that they needed to see better security on their mobile network in order to inspire them to turn to their connected device for more financial activities.

While many financial apps already offer solid security, many consumers appear to not be aware of this and that lack of awareness could be hindering further usage and adoption. Therefore, IAB recommends that financial service marketers pay greater attention to communicating their security measures in future campaigns.

Payment activities
The report also found that respondents are using their smartphones for a variety of payment activities.

In addition to using a smartphone to pay bills, 34 percent are paying for real-world goods and services via a prepaid card on the phone, 37 percent are buying tickets for a movie, concert or travel, 45 percent are paying for digital products such as music, movies and apps and 19 percent are paying friends or family.

PayPal is the leader in terms of name-brand apps that respondents have downloaded to make payments or keep track of their finances, with 37 percent having done so. PayPal is followed by Mint, with 11 percent, Turbotax with 9 percent, Square 8 percent and Google Wallet 7 percent.

Other key findings include that 72 percent use calculator apps, 35 percent use tip calculators, 16 percent use receipt scanning apps and 14 percent use financial news apps.

With the deadline for filing tax returns nearing, 57 percent said they knew about apps for filing taxes via mobile device, but only 6 percent have used one to file.

“Consumers show a definite willingness and interest in using their smartphones as a mechanism for making payments,” said Shrikant Latkar, vice president of global marketing and InMobi. “The impediment is with retailers and individuals not currently being set up to accept those payments.

“It is fascinating, however, to see how far this has come so quickly. In some cases, like morning coffee, paying with your mobile phone has almost become routine,” he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York