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Security concerns with smartphones

By Marcie Geffner ·
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Posted: 9 am ET

A new survey has found that more than half of smartphone users have used their phone to make some type of mobile payment and that security remains a major concern of mobile banking for all smartphone users regardless of whether they’ve made a payment by this means.

The survey of 1,046 people who responded via the Internet was released by the Credit Union National Association, a network of an affiliated credit union organization in Washington, D.C.

Nearly 78 percent of the respondents listed security as their most serious concern of mobile banking. About 7 percent cited their phone's battery life, 6.4 percent said mobile banking was confusing to use, 5.1 percent said the reward or bonus features weren't appealing and 4 percent were concerned that they wouldn't be able to track a budget with mobile banking.

In a statement, CUNA Executive Vice President Paul Gentile said the fact that so many smartphone users were concerned about security was a reminder to financial institutions that consumers won't forgo security for convenience.

"Respondents' concerns over security indicate financial institutions and companies in the mobile space must continue to stress their focus on security with their customers,” Gentile said.

About 91 percent of respondents who said they had used their smartphone to make at least one mobile payment said the greatest benefit was ease of use.

Mobile payments were viewed least favorably with respect to rewards, bonuses and points programs. Almost 42 percent of respondents preferred credit cards and almost 26 percent preferred debit cards to mobile banking for this reason.

Younger people were more likely to use their smartphone for mobile banking, the survey found. Almost 60 percent of respondents who were 30 to 44 years old said they'd used their smartphone for this purpose. Almost 58 percent of the 18- to 29-year-old respondents had made a mobile payment, as had 47.8 percent for the 45- to 60-year-old group. The proportion dropped to 24.1 percent for 61 year olds or older.

Have you tried to make mobile payments with your smartphone? Did you have any trouble navigating the transaction?

Follow me on Twitter: @marciegeff.

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