U.S. Consumers Avoiding Mobile Banking

    April 8, 2009

U.S. consumers think mobile banking is important but do not want to pay for it and are hesitant to use their mobile devices for financial transactions and online banking, according to a survey by accounting firm KPMG.

The survey of about 500 U.S. consumers found the majority (91%) had never tried banking on a mobile device. Of those respondents who have never done banking on a mobile device, 48 percent said security and privacy were the main reason.

Mobile Banking

"Consumers value banking services that make their lives simpler and more manageable and mobile banking affords this convenience, so banks that address concerns over security, privacy, and costs may be better able to retain existing customers and attract new ones," said Carl Carande, a principal in KPMG LLP’s Advisory and Banking and Finance practices.

More than half (68%) of respondents said their current bank does not offer banking on a mobile device and only nine percent said they had tried mobile banking.

"The fact that the majority of U.S. consumers are not aware that their current banks offer mobile banking is clearly more perception than reality," added Carande.

"Banks will need to work harder to increase customer awareness of the availability of mobile banking and clearly articulate the value proposition of the service before consumers are willing to pay for it."

The majority (66%) of U.S. consumers also are not comfortable using their mobile device for financial transactions.

When it comes to payments, 95 percent said they never made a purchase using a mobile device on a retailers mobile Web site, indicating a lack of comfort in using a mobile device for transactions and payments.

"U.S. consumers — as well as worldwide — need to be convinced that new payment methods and banking vehicles are safe and secure for them to succeed," said Mitch Siegel, director of payment advisory services in KPMG LLP’s Financial Services practice.

"With high mobile device penetration rates, U.S. consumers are accustomed to using the mobile channel to access data," said Siegel. "And it may only be a matter of time before they grow comfortable with using — and potentially paying a premium to use — the mobile device for browser-based and point-of-sale, ‘contactless’ financial transactions."