Why Consumers Should Fear Mobile Banking

The Financial Brand recently reported on a study conducted by GOBankingRates which found that a little more than half of consumers–56%–indicated that they have a “main concern” about mobile banking.

My take: The survey really goes to show how clueless people really are.

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Let’s take a deeper look into some of peoples’ “concerns” with mobile banking.

Less than a handful (3%) of respondents cited “no paper documentation.” I’m sure these people don’t buy anything online, either, because there’s no paper documentation with those transactions. If there are 3% of people in the world who will only transact face-to-face so they can get a paper receipt, so be it. I think banks can live without having these folks as mobile banking customers.

Seven percent of respondents listed “misuse of personal info” as their main concern. Apparently, these people haven’t heard about any of the data breaches that have hit Target, Home Depot, and the gazillion other merchants who have been hit. Bet these 7% still have no problem using their debit and credit cards when they make those face-to-face purchases.

Nine percent said “technical errors” were their main concern with mobile banking. These people are actually on to something. Fear of technical errors is my biggest concern with banking–not “mobile” banking, but banking altogether. Of course, the last time I had a problem with my bank, it was a matter of “human” error–not technical error–and I was the human who made the error.

Far and away, the largest percentage of respondents with a main concern regarding mobile banking was the 37% who cited identify theft as their concern.  Identity theft? How’s that going to happen? These people clearly don’t have a clue what the most common causes of ID theft are. And I can’t help but wonder how many of these 37% are banking online. Checking your account balance and moving funds between accounts is OK to do on a PC, but not a smartphone or tablet? 

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The reasons people are giving for “fearing” mobile banking are baseless. If you need a reason to fear mobile banking, I’ll give you some good reasons:

3) Snakes will come squirming out of your smartphone when you use a mobile banking app. I’m not saying this has ever happened before, but it could. And that would be a helluva lot scarier than not having paper documentation of the transaction.

2) Your mobile banking app will access the naked pictures of yourself you keep on your phone, and post them on Facebook. And I’m sorry to tell you this, but that’s scarier for the rest of us than it is for you.

And the #1 best reason for fearing mobile banking….

1) You will give your ID and password to a phisher and try to use a mobile banking app to change that password before the hacker gets into your account–but the mobile banking app won’t let you do it. Sadly, this is true, and I learned it the hard way.

Of course, it hasn’t stopped me from continuing to use my bank’s mobile banking app. But at least my fears of mobile banking are grounded in reality.

 

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5 thoughts on “Why Consumers Should Fear Mobile Banking

  1. I agree with your points. Even with all the credit card breaches, the media makes it out to be the equivalent of someone walking into your house in the middle of the night. For the average consumer, the biggest thing to worry about is the inconvenience of getting a new card.

    As with most fears, its others telling you that you need to be scared.

    1. Whenever I see studies like this, I’m reminded of something my friend Jaime Punishill said probably 10 years ago (when the studies were about online shopping and online banking): “You can’t fight technology fears with technology solutions.” The point is that when you get these irrational fears re: technology, piling more technology on is unlikely to alleviate those fears.

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