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Why Don’t People Like Mobile Banking?

Just 20% of people who own mobile phones use their phones to bank.I must confess, I love mobile banking.

I love not having to go to a bank branch or ATM to conduct my business. I love paying bills on the run and ignoring my checkbook. I love being able to check my checking account balance wherever and whenever I want.

Most people do not love this.

That’s not what the Federal Reserve writes in its recent survey, “Consumers and Mobile Financial Services,” but that’s the conclusion I draw.

In fact, the Fed seems to look on the bright side that only 20% of Americans who own a mobile phone used it for banking purposes in the last year. It sees great growth potential.

But that low number means 80% of us said “no thanks” to mobile banking.

The most common reason people said they weren’t using their phone to bank is they didn’t need to — they could get access to their credit card or bank accounts in other ways.

What’s stranger still, more people said they used telephone banking than relied on their Internet connections through their mobile phones to get access to their accounts.

I can’t imagine how this is easier than mobile banking.

On the other hand, a fairly broad argument against using mobile banking — security fears — makes a bit more sense. Folks who fall into this camp are worried that someone will gain access to their phone remotely, and thus their accounts, or that someone will steal their phone.

“If these concerns were addressed, many nonusers would be willing to adopt mobile banking,” the Fed survey concluded.

Maybe I should be, but I’m not all that concerned about security, and neither are the people surveyed who use mobile banking technology.

Perhaps it’s wish fulfillment, now that banking on the run has become an indispensable part of our routines.

After all, there’s a surprising amount you can do with one little banking app.

Here’s the breakdown of what we do when we use a mobile phone to access our bank or credit card company:

  • 90% have checked account balances or transaction inquiries.
  • 42% transferred money between accounts.
  • 33% received a text message alert from a bank.
  • 26% used mobile banking to pay a bill.
  • 21% located an in-network ATM.
  • 11% deposited a check by mobile phone.

Do you use your mobile phone to bank? Why or why not?

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Comments (3)
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3 Existing Comments
  1. woodshop said:
    on March 21st at 03:01 pm

    I don’t go to any bank from my mobile device.
    I do however make high use of the mobile Mint.com app.

    Why?
    I just don’t, i see no reason to, i plan to pay my bills and thus i do them from home, at the PC, via the banks website.

    I see the high use of mobile banking for anything other then checking balances to be a lack of responsibility on the uses part.

  2. Mike Cetera said:
    on March 21st at 04:04 pm

    Thanks for your thoughts, woodshop.

    I could sit in front of a computer, but I prefer to go mobile. Different strokes.

  3. Ronald Jackson said:
    on April 26th at 12:29 pm

    I don’t “go mobile” for one simple reason: I don’t have a smartphone. Smartphone plans around here go for $40-50/month. Would you pay $40 a month just to carry around a credit card? No? Well, I wouldn’t pay that to carry around a mobile phone that can be used like a credit card. Yes, there are “other benefits” of smartphones – none of which are of much use to me and certainly not worth the money. I’ll stick to my $7/month “dumb” phone and free credit card.