Customers are leaving banks that don't offer mobile banking services

Customers are leaving banks that are not offering mobile banking services, such as balance inquiries and transfers and bill payments through photo imaging, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Around 60 percent of mobile device users who switched banks in the fourth quarter of last year cited mobile banking as a factor in the switch, up from only 7 percent in the second quarter of 2010, according to data from AlixPartners cited by the Journal.

Around one-third of banking customers have deposited checks using photo imaging on their mobile devices in the fourth quarter, compared to 22 percent two years earlier, according to AlixPartners.

The good news for banks is that mobile banking costs less than other forms of transactions. The average cost for a mobile transaction is 10 cents, about half the cost of a desktop transaction and much less than an ATM transaction, which can cost $1.25 on average, based on data from Javelin Strategy and Research cited by the newspaper.

Security worries still plague customers: 41 percent of customers surveyed by Javelin said that security was a deterrent to their embracing mobile banking services.

The Federal Reserve has found mobile device owners are embracing mobile banking. A majority of U.S. smartphone owners used mobile banking services last year, according to a survey of 2,600 consumers conducted by GfK on behalf of the Federal Reserve Board.

The most common mobile banking activities are reviewing account balances, monitoring recent transactions or transferring money between accounts. A full 38 percent of mobile banking users used their smartphone to deposit a check last year.

For more:
- read the Journal article
- check out the Federal Reserve release

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