As adoption of advanced mobile devices such as smartphones has exploded in recent years, consumers have grown increasingly comfortable using their phones to transfer money, purchase goods, and engage in other types of financial transactions.
Recent Pew Internet surveys find that one in ten Americans have used their cell phone to make a charitable contribution by text message, that more than one-third of smartphone owners have used their phones to do online banking services like paying bills or checking a balance, and that 46% of apps users have purchased an app using a mobile device.
Research from comScore has found that 38% of smartphone owners have used their cell phone to make a purchase of some kind, with digital goods (such as music, e-books or movies), clothing and accessories, tickets and daily deals leading the way as the most popular mobile retail categories.3
Similarly, a March 2012 Federal Reserve report found that 21% of mobile phone owners had used mobile banking services in the past year and that another 11% of mobile owners plan to use such services in the next 12 months.4 Using one’s phone to check account balances and recent transactions ranked as the most commonly-used service (90% of mobile banking users engage in this activity), followed by transferring funds between accounts (42% of mobile banking users). The study also found that some 12% of mobile phone owners have made payments—such as paying bills online or transferring money directly to another person’s account—via their phones.