Number of U.S. Mobile Financial Account Users Surges 54 Percent to 30 Million in Past Year [Statistics]

comScore, Inc. released the latest insights on the state of the mobile financial services market from its quarterly Mobile Financial Advisor report. The report found that in Q4 2010, 29.8 million Americans accessed financial services accounts (bank, credit card, or brokerage) via their mobile device, an increase of 54 percent from Q4 2009. The report also analyzed the reasons inhibiting consumers from accessing financial accounts via mobile devices, finding that preference for online access and security concerns topped the list for both smartphone and feature phone users.

Mobile Financial Service Audience (Accessed Bank, Credit Card or Brokerage Account)
3 Month Avg. Ending Dec-2010 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Dec-2009
Total U.S. Mobile Subscribers Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Total Unique Audience (MM)
Q4 2009 Q4 2010 Percent Change
Accessed Mobile Financial Services* 19.3 29.8 54%
Accessed via Mobile Browser 11.8 18.6 58%
Accessed via Application 4.9 10.8 120%
Accessed via SMS 6.0 8.1 35%

*Unduplicated audience accessing financial accounts via mobile browser, app or SMS

Among Mobile Banking Users, Mobile Second Most Popular Access Point to Online

With the proliferation of access channels, knowing how and where consumers are interacting with their financial accounts is essential for efficient allocation of marketing dollars and resources. Among mobile banking and credit card users, nearly half prefer going online via a fixed device as the primary way to access their accounts, with 47 percent of mobile banking customers and 44 percent of mobile credit card users doing so. Mobile has become an increasingly important access channel with 36 percent of mobile credit card users and 26 percent of mobile banking customers indicating it is their primary method of accessing their accounts. Only a small segment of these users listed speaking with a representative in person or on the phone as their primary access method.

Q: What is your primary method of accessing financial accounts?(Among Mobile Banking and Mobile Credit Card Customers)
Banking N = 645 Credit Cards N = 512
Q4 2010
Source: comScore Mobile Financial Advisor
Percent of Respondents
Mobile Banking MobileCredit Card
By going online from a fixed device 47% 44%
Using my mobile device or cell phone 26% 36%
By visiting the branch or agent in person 10% 8%
By calling the company on the phone 4% 10%
Other 13% 2%

Online Preference & Security Top List as Reasons Consumers Do Not Use Mobile for Financial Activities

comScore also analyzed the reasons consumers cite for not utilizing their mobile devices for financial activities. The results indicated that preference for using a fixed online device topped the list for both smartphone and non-smartphone users at 53 percent and 45 percent, respectively. Security concerns were also rated highly as a concern among both smartphone users (33 percent) and non-smartphone users (30 percent). Perhaps not surprisingly, 29 percent of non-smartphone users stated cost as a reason for not accessing these accounts, while only 10 percent of smartphone users said the same thing (as unlimited data plans void this concern for many smartphone users). 26 percent of smartphone users also indicated that slow connection speeds hindered their mobile financial service usage. Demonstrating the overall strong awareness of these services, only 6 percent of smartphone users and 5 percent of non-smartphone users stated not knowing about these services as a reason why they did not access these accounts.

Q: You said that you currently do not access your personal financial accounts via your mobile phone. Why do you not use these services? (Select all that apply) Smartphone N = 658 Non-Smartphone N = 1905
Q4 2010
Source: comScore Mobile Financial Advisor
Percent of Respondents
Smartphone Non-Smartphone
I prefer to conduct my transactions online from a fixed device 53% 45%
I do not trust the security associated with this 33% 30%
Accessing my account through my cell phone is too slow 26% 9%
I rarely use the Internet to access my bank account, so I wouldn’t with my mobile device. 11% 12%
My financial institution does not offer mobile services 11% 3%
It costs too much to access the Internet on my mobile device 10% 29%
I did not know that I could access my accounts through my mobile phone 6% 5%
Other 4% 5%
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