Canadian smartphone owners warming to mobile banking

Canadian smartphone owners warming to mobile banking

Only a third of Canadian smart phone owners have tried mobile banking but this is expected to rise to half within the next two years, according to a survey from ING Direct.

The poll of 700 smartphone users shows that, despite promising uptake of mobile banking in the last 12 months, 65% still aren't on board.

When asked why they haven't used it, 56% say online suits them just fine while one in five prefer more old fashioned methods such as branches, ATMS and call centres. Security is another deterrent, cited by 40% of non-m-bankers. Of all respondents, 64% say security is their biggest concern.

Age is a major factor in take-up - while 53% of 18 to 34-year olds have used their handset to bank, only 38% of 35 to 54-year olds have and just 12% of over 54s.

The survey indicates that momentum will continue to build over the next couple of years, with 49% of respondents expecting to do banking from their mobile device in the next 12 to 24 months. This number grows to 64% when looking at 18 to 34-year olds.

For those that do use their phones to bank, two thirds do so through apps and a third through a browser. In terms of what they actually use it for, 63% check balances, 19% pay bills, 15% transfer funds, two per cent e-mail money and one per cent buy and sell mutual funds.

Asked for a wishlist of features, 31% of current users pick the ability to make mobile payments, 27% the ability to add a payee, 19% personal finance management/budgeting tools and 17% the ability to live chat with a bank employee.

Peter Aceto, president and CEO, ING Direct Canada, says: "The appetite for mobile banking among Canadians is growing. Our clients have performed over 200,000 mobile fund transfers and 1,000,000 balance inquiries over the last 18 months. Our mobile apps see 2,000 downloads a week, and that number continues to rise."

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