The number of people accessing their bank or brokerage accounts through mobile devices surged 54 percent in the fourth quarter last year compared with the same period in 2009, according to a new report from ComScore.
During the fourth quarter of 2010, 29.8 million Americans tapped into their bank, credit, or brokerage accounts via cell phones and other mobile devices, according to the Mobile Financial Advisor report released yesterday.
Drilling down further, 18.6 million people accessed their financial accounts via a mobile browser, 10.8 million used a mobile app, and 8.1 million used text messaging, said ComScore. Those numbers include people who used more than one of the three methods to access their accounts. But overall, the use of mobile apps showed the greatest surge, up 120 percent since the final quarter of 2009.
"More people are turning to the convenience of mobile devices for their financial service needs, fueled in part by the adoption of smartphones, 3G devices, and unlimited data plans," ComScore Vice President Sarah Lenart said in a statement.
Accessing their information through a mobile device was the primary method used by 36 percent of credit card holders and 26 percent of banking customers. Only a small number of people said they spoke with someone on the phone or in person to conduct their business.
Though mobile banking has grown increasingly popular, a large number of customers still prefer using computers and other fixed online devices to access their accounts. Voicing their resistance, these people pointed to such concerns as a lack of security on the mobile device, the costs of accessing data, and the slow connection speeds.
To compile its Mobile Financial Advisor report, ComScore relied on surveys conducted through its MobiLens services and measurements and surveys done through its Mobile Metrix product.