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Report: A Boon for Banking, Payment Apps as Mobile Attachment Grows


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Americans are more reliant than ever on mobile devices to manage their finances, presenting a major opportunity for providers of emerging payments services like mobile wallets and P2P, according to a new study from Bank of America. The bank’s third annual Trends in Consumer Mobility Report collected and analyzed data from more than 1,300 U.S. adults over the age of 18 who have a bank account and own a smartphone.

Among the report’s key findings was the degree to which consumers—especially millennials—are attached to their smartphones. Thirty-nine percent of respondents age 18 to 34 reported interacting with their phones more than their significant other, parents, friends, children or co-workers during an average day. Among all respondents, that figure was 29 percent. And banking is a major part of that mobile device interaction, the report showed. In fact, 54 percent of those polled reported using a mobile banking app—up from 48 percent in last year’s survey. Among millennials, banking app usage jumps to a whopping 75 percent. The most common use of a banking app was checking balances and statements, which was done by 85 percent of respondents, followed by transferring funds between accounts (58 percent), paying bills (52 percent) and depositing a check (47 percent).

Notably, alerts delivered via mobile banking app have proven to be especially effective in reaching consumers; 71 percent of respondents who use an app have taken action as a result of an alert. Mobile is quickly gaining ground in payments as well, the study found. Forty percent of respondents would use or already use a smartphone to make in-store payments at POS, up from 34 percent in 2015. Mobile P2P rated even higher, with 57 percent of respondents saying they would or already do use a mobile-based money transfer service.

Looking ahead, the survey foretells a bright future for mobile payments as they continue to gain ground on more traditional payment forms. More than half (51 percent) of respondents predicted that within the next decade, children currently under 18 won’t use cash, and 41 percent predicted they won’t use plastic payment cards.

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