Report Released on 2016 Mobile Banking and Payments Survey

For immediate release: Jan. 23, 2017

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta today issued results of the 2016 Mobile Banking and Payments Survey of Financial Institutions in the Sixth District. The survey sought to answer questions about the level and type of mobile financial services that financial institutions offer in the Sixth Federal Reserve District. The Atlanta Fed also hoped to gain insights into the strategies and measures that financial institutions are pursuing to provide mobile financial services to their customers.

The survey defined mobile banking as "the use of a mobile phone to connect to a financial institution to access bank/credit account information—for example, view balances, transfer funds between accounts, pay bills, receive account alerts, locate ATMs, deposit checks, and more."

"We are excited to release the results of this survey, which enhance our understanding of the mobile financial services environment in the Sixth District and how this has changed since the 2014 survey," said Dave Lott, a payments risk expert in the Atlanta Fed's Retail Payments Risk Forum. "In addition, the survey gives financial institutions valuable information that allows them to evaluate their current mobile banking and payments strategy."

Additional analysis will be released in February showing the survey responses broken down by asset size of the participants. The information will allow financial institutions to assess their programs against those of peers.

Key learnings

Survey findings include:

  • The overall mobile banking service offering has become a standard service of financial institutions, with 98 percent of the responding financial institutions indicating they currently or plan to offer the service.
  • Competitive pressure and the retention of existing customers are the primary reasons for offering mobile banking service.
  • Financial institutions cited security concerns by consumers as the greatest barrier to mobile banking adoption.
  • None of the financial institutions expect mobile banking to provide any significant level of fee revenue.
  • The main reasons that financial institutions give for not planning to offer mobile wallets are security concerns and a lack of consumer demand.
  • The security tools that financial institutions would most likely use are biometric methodologies, which include fingerprinting, iris scanning, and more.
  • Most of the survey respondents have a long-term outlook (three years or more) for mobile payments to reach a customer participation level of 50 percent.

About the survey

Beginning in December 2011 and conducted annually since, several Federal Reserve Banks collaborated on a mobile banking and mobile payments survey targeting financial institutions. The Atlanta Fed participated in the 2014 survey, which is available here. Concurrently, the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston, Cleveland, Dallas, Kansas City, Minneapolis, and Richmond conducted identical surveys in their districts. A larger report, which will include consolidated survey results, will be released later this year.

Contact: Jean Tate 404-498-8035