Mobile banking use continued to grow in 2015, according to a survey released today by the Federal Reserve. Forty-three percent of mobile phone owners surveyed in November 2015 reported using mobile banking services in the previous year, up from 39 percent in 2014. More than half of smartphone owners — 53 percent — reported using mobile banking. These figures were amplified by the growing share of smartphones, which rose from 71 percent to 77 percent of all mobile phones.
While mobile payments continue to be less common than mobile banking, adoption increased slightly over the past year, with 24 percent of cell phone users (and 28 percent of smartphone users) now using their phone to pay a bill or send money. Sixty-five percent said they used their phone to pay a bill through an app, while 33 percent said they paid with their phone at a point of sale. However, while mobile payment use grew more for those older than 45, it declined four points in 2015 for individuals aged 18-29.
The survey found that the most common mobile banking activities were balance inquiries, funds transfers and account alerts, consistent with findings from previous years. Forty-eight percent of mobile banking customers reported using remote deposit capture to deposit a check in 2015.
Mobile banking continues to be prevalent among “underbanked” customers, 70 percent of whom have smartphones. Fifty-five percent of the underbanked customers surveyed said they had used mobile banking in the previous year.