A survey by the US Federal Reserve has found that six per cent of smartphone owners have used their handsets to make a purchase at the point-of-sale, a threefold increase over the previous year.
Meanwhile mobile banking is more common among US users, according to the survey, which found that 28 per cent of all mobile users, and 48 per cent of smartphone users, had used their devices for banking in the last 12 months.
The board’s second annual survey of mobile usage patterns was conducted in late November 2012.
Interestingly, the survey says adoption of mobile financial services among the ten per cent of the population that is classified as underbanked is relatively high. The underbanked do have bank accounts but also make use of services such as cheque cashing or payday loans.
Among the 90 per cent of underbanked consumers who own mobile phones, nearly half (49 per cent) had used mobile banking in the past 12 months, an increase from the 29 per cent in the previous survey (December 2011).
The report notes that mobile phones could be a means to deliver banking to an additional ten per cent of the population that is termed unbanked, meaning those without a bank account. More than half (59 per cent) of this group have a mobile phone, half of which are smartphones.