Americans switching on to m-banking

Americans switching on to m-banking

Around three quarters of US customers - 75% - would now consider using mobile banking services if offered, up from 49% in 2006, according to research released by fintech vendor Fiserv.

The April 2008 survey of 1007 mobile phone users conducted by MQA Research found that consumer interest in mobile banking and payments services has increased significantly in the past two years.

Around 75% of those surveyed say they would consider using mobile banking services if offered, up from the 49% who expressed a willingness to try mobile banking services in a similar survey conducted in March 2006.

When surveyed in 2006, use of a cell phone for financial activities was "non-existent", says Fiserv. But the latest study found that 23% of respondents currently use a mobile device to access account and credit card balances.

"This research shows that consumer adoption of mobile banking services is poised for potential rapid growth," says Bob Homer, VP, product management, Fiserv electronic banking services. "Consumers perceive the value of accessing financial services on their mobile devices as a convenient way to interact with their financial institution."

For those who have not yet adopted mobile banking, security continues to be a major concern, with 72% of survey respondents saying they worry about the security of accessing financial data using wireless devices. However 82% of consumers say they would sign up with their bank for mobile security text messages that would alert them of password changes and other access changes, while 79% would sign up for account balance alerts.

Cost was the second-most cited concern (48%) about mobile banking services.

The release of the survey results coincides with the launch of a new mobile banking and payments platform by Fiserv, called Mobile Money.

The new system is powered by technology developed by New Zealand-based Mobile Commerce Limited (M-Com) and supports consumers on all three mobile access modes - short messaging service, (SMS), wireless application protocol, (WAP) and downloaded mobile applications.

The platform offers online and offline enrolment capabilities and integrates with core banking, online banking and electronic payments systems, says Fiserv.

"Fiserv Mobile Money helps financial institutions optimise customer relationships either through deepening existing online banking relationships or through driving offline customer relationships to a more profitable mobile banking and payments relationship," says Steve Olsen, Fiserv group president, Internet banking and electronic payments. "This ultimately helps institutions of all sizes to maximize their mobile return-on-investment."

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