More people going mobile to check on finances

Faith Merino · March 24, 2011 · Short URL:

More people are checking bank and credit card accounts from mobile devices, says comScore

Remember when people were scared to use their credit cards online? Those days are long gone, and more people than ever are shopping online. Enter the mobile age and you have throngs of people using their mobile devices to pay for goods, check their bank accounts, stocks, and more. In Q4 2010, 29.8 million Americans accessed financial accounts such as bank accounts, credit cards, or brokerages directly from their mobile device--representing an increase of 54% from the previous year, according to a report from comScore that was released Wednesday.

Taking the last couple years of the economy into account, it's little wonder that personalized financial services like have flourished. They almost seem to work hand-in-hand with the skyrocketing daily deal industry. People want to save money and keep a closer eye on their finances. 

To that end, services like,, and others have burst onto the scene to help users get on top of their finances, get out of debt, and start putting money away for savings. Interestingly, these services have flourished despite the fact that they require users to provide their most secret identifying information, such as passwords to their accounts and answers to security questions. Even Offermatic, a site that is essentially a personalized coupon service, requires users to submit their banking and credit card information. 

In an age of flourishing identity theft, it would seem counter-intuitive to have all of that information right there on your mobile phone, with little more than a password to protect against potential thiefs (and if you're password is "password"--or the now wildly popular "pa55word," you're in for a world of hurt). But comScore found that the prospect of identity theft is not deterring mobile phone users. In Q4 2010, 10.8 million people accessed financial accounts using applications on their mobile device--up 120% over last year. More people checked their financial accounts from a mobile browser than an application, however--18.6 million in Q4 (up 58% over last year). Even text messaging is being utilized as a tool for checking financial data, with 8.1 million people using SMS to check their financial accounts, representing an increase of 35% over last year. 

Additionally, people now prefer mobile apps and mobile Web browsers for checking financial data over calling institutions directly or going in for face-to-face meetings. In fact, mobile comes in second only to going online from a computer to check financial data. 

“More people are turning to the convenience of mobile devices for their financial service needs, fueled in part by the adoption of smartphones, 3G devices and unlimited data plans,” said Sarah Lenart, comScore vice president, in a prepared statement. “The ubiquitous nature of mobile devices affords financial brands an important channel to reach and engage customers, whether it’s at home, work or on-the-go. As brands compete for customer loyalty in this competitive market, marketers will need to focus on continually improving the mobile customer experience and adjusting to the changing landscape and consumer needs as they access their financial information.”

Of those who said they own a smartphone but they don't it to check up on their financial accounts, 53% said that they simply prefer to conduct transactions online from a fixed location (such as a computer), while 33% of smartphone owners said they don't trust the security. 

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