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Mobile banking has trust issues

By Claes Bell · Bankrate.com
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Posted: 4 pm ET

According to a new survey of U.S. consumers, mobile banking is easy, convenient and totally untrustworthy.

Echoing a couple of other surveys we've covered in this space, a new survey by research firm Infosys finds that while 94 percent of consumers think mobile banking is easy and 77 percent think it's convenient, only 42 percent consider it reliable. Of those that don't use mobile banking, 38 percent characterized it as "scary," despite the fact that many security experts consider it safer than online banking, which is now generally accepted.

But I think the survey results are more a reminder that the evolution of people's attitudes and beliefs moves much slower than technological innovation than they are an indictment of mobile banking.

The mass adoption of mobile banking is inevitable, just because of the sheer ubiquity of the things. According to Nielson, more than half of U.S. consumers now have a smartphone, and they've only been in existence for what, 10 years? Eventually, people will get used to the idea of handling their banking on smartphones, just as they did with online banking before that and ATMs before that.

One criticism of mobile banking I do think is legitimate is the speed issue. Only 48 percent of consumers were happy with the speed of mobile banking service, and I personally wouldn't be one of them. Even with a good connection, it can take a long time to boot up and navigate through the app provided by my bank. That said, it's a heck of a lot faster than driving by a branch, and I expect speed to become less of an issue if and when mobile providers get their act together on providing 4G service.

What do you think? Will consumers eventually come around? Or will banking on your smartphone always seem a little dangerous?

Follow me on Twitter: @ClaesBell

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