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Online vs. mobile banking

By David McMillin ·
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET

A new study from Javelin Strategy & Research shows that banking customers are still primarily relying on online tools over mobile apps to manage their money. According to two surveys of 8,400 consumers, only 8 percent of customers have transferred funds between their own accounts using a phone.

There's plenty of hype surrounding mobile banking, but this latest batch of numbers show that the vast majority of customers still turn to their computers for personal finance duties. However, the survey points to an emerging technology that could prove to be one of the big catalysts for an embrace of the possibilities of banking with a smartphone: person-to-person transfers. The report highlights a number of new mobile payment acceptance tools on the market including Square, Intuit GoPayment and PayPal Here and VeriFone SAIL.

We've outlined how P2P works before, and you may have seen the basic benefits of P2P through big banks advertising the ease of splitting the dinner check with your friends via your smartphones. They provide a practical solution that removes ATM withdrawals and writing checks from the equation. Mobile P2P has one advantage over online P2P transfers, too: speed. Forget the waiting time to power up a laptop or a PC. Just pull up your app. Hit send. The transfer is in process.

Outside of splitting tabs, the survey points to a reason that both banked and unbanked customers may turn to the convenience of P2P via phone: sending money internationally. Thirty-two percent of respondents indicated that they would be likely to use international mobile P2P transfers to send money abroad.

Regardless of whether you're looking to send money within the United States or internationally, I think P2P will prove to be one of the most attractive components of the new generation of banking. Combined with mobile deposits, these two tools eliminate the main reasons that many account holders have to make trips to their banks.

What do you think? Will the ability to send money to family and friends from your phone help simplify your life?

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August 11, 2012 at 12:25 pm

I am shocked to read "...Thirty-two percent of respondents indicated that they would be likely to use international mobile P2P transfers to send money abroad". Really, 32% need to regularly make international payments? I can see how useful this is if you have numerous friends and relatives that you need to do transactions with, but otherwise, how often do you need that? If you're purchasing something abroad, your best bet is a credit card with the fx fees.

You can settle monies with friends for free with paypal. Just make sure you select "personal/other" if you don't want to get hit with a fee.