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Adults Reluctant Adopt Mobile Banking and Payments

In one survey, consumers cite security concerns as the top reason for their discomfort about making mobile payments.
March 12, 2012

LOUISVILLE, KY - A new survey reveals that while younger consumers are driving the growth of mobile banking and payments, most adults are not embracing the technology, Mobile Payments Today reports.

Conducted in January by Auriemma Consulting, the survey found that while 43% of respondents under 45 had downloaded a mobile app from their financial institution within the previous year, only 22% of those over 45 had done so.

Respondents with mobile-banking capabilities used their smartphone for the following:

  • Check their account balance (75%)
  • Pay a bill (36%)
  • Receive a bank notification (32%)
  • Pay by phone and make a deposit (31%)
  • Transfer funds (3%)
  • Take no action (17%)

Among all those polled, 47% said they were very or somewhat uncomfortable making a purchase with their phone, 34% were very or somewhat comfortable and 19% were unsure. Separated by age group, 48% of those 45 and under said they were comfortable making purchases with their phone, while 21% of those over 45 said the same.

The top reasons for discomfort about making a mobile payment were uncertainty about security (58%), followed by concerns about identity theft (55%) and fear of losing sensitive data (52%).

Auriemma concluded that until mobile banking and payments save consumers time and provide a secure method for conducting transactions, wide-scale consumer adoption is unlikely.

Meanwhile, bank customers are not that interested in disclosures from their financial institutions, Bankrate.com reports. "Customers find it hard to penetrate [the fine print] and they often will not read it," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray in an Associated Press interview.

But what does get their ire up is disclosures that involve bank fees, such as the outrage over debit-card fees, and checking account fees, which has customers leaving big banks in droves.