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Consumers Yet To Trust Mobile Banking and Alternative Payments, Study Finds

A survey by BT Global Services suggests that consumers have yet to be sold on the security of mobile banking and alternative payments services.

Despite being around for several years now, mobile banking still has yet to earn the kind of trust that consumers put in online banking and ATM’s, new research from BT Global Services, an IT consulting and outsourcing firm, suggests. The firm released the results of a recent global survey of 1,000 consumers today, and the findings show that consumers still trust ATM’s, self-service kiosks and online banking far more than they trust mobile banking services. Among the U.S. consumers questioned in the survey only 13% said that they would trust mobile banking more than they would these other technologies, although that percentage was higher than in some European countries like Germany (5%) and Britain (10%).

[See Related: What's Next For Mobile Banking?]

“Banks must be careful not to lose sight of the need for human contact in either the branch or via a local call center agent. Our research shows that these continue to be customers’ most trusted and preferred channels,” Tom Regent, BT Global Service’s president of global banking and financial markets, said in a statement the company released concerning the survey results.

U.S. consumers still consider the local branch an integral part of their banking experience, the research suggests. Half of the U.S. respondents said that having a local branch in a convenient location is the most important factor for them when switching to a new bank. The next most important factors in changing banks were the availability of 24/7 banking services and quality online bankign services.

The survey also found that U.S. consumers are far less intrigued by the idea of interacting with their bank through social media than consumers in other countries. Only 17% of U.S. consumers in the survey said they want their bank to interact with them through social media, while 39% of the respondents in Hong Kong and 37% of those in Spain were interested in the idea, according to BT Global’s statement.

Although consumers are still hesitant about mobile banking, they are even more cautious about new alternative payments providers, meaning that banks still have an advantage in consumer trust over these new providers. Less than 10 percent of consumers had tried an alternative payments service like Bitcoins or virtual wallets in most of the countries involved in the poll, the statement said. Among U.S. consumers in the study 62% predicted that they definitely would not use an alternative payments service in the next 18 months.

Jonathan Camhi has been an associate editor with Bank Systems & Technology since 2012. He previously worked as a freelance journalist in New York City covering politics, health and immigration, and has a master's degree from the City University of New York's Graduate School ... View Full Bio

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Melanie Rodier
Melanie Rodier,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/1/2013 | 3:40:17 PM
re: Consumers Yet To Trust Mobile Banking and Alternative Payments, Study Finds
I agree. Offering multiple channels is key. If mobile and online were the only option available, that could be an issue for a lot of consumers, who might find comfort in knowing that if they really want to go into a branch and speak to someone they can, even though they might find it more convenient to do all their banking online. Also, as mobile continues to evolve, people will eventually trust it as much as other channels. It is still a relatively new channel. Change of culture takes time.
Greg MacSweeney
Greg MacSweeney,
User Rank: Author
3/1/2013 | 11:30:50 AM
re: Consumers Yet To Trust Mobile Banking and Alternative Payments, Study Finds
It's important to note, at least from reading this article, that consumers didn't indicate that they do NOT trust mobile:

"... the findings show that consumers still trust ATMG«÷s, self-service kiosks and online banking far more than they trust mobile banking services."

They trust mobile less than ATMs or branch technology. That is not surprising. But to say that consumers don't trust mobile banking at all is not correct.
User Rank: Apprentice
2/28/2013 | 8:42:58 PM
re: Consumers Yet To Trust Mobile Banking and Alternative Payments, Study Finds
It would be good to know something about the survey and the responders. It is not surprising to see the branch as an important channel for customer engagement. But, we have seen that, especially younger consumers, are focused on mobile and online banking channels too. It is not an either or proposition, but an AND proposition. Which means, it is critical for a bank to be able to engage with their customers over multiple channels, and to be able to carry on a "conversation" with them in any way that the customer wants.
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