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With Christmas behind us once more, it was unsurprising to many that smartphones and tablets played an even bigger part in our holiday shopping activities than they have done in the past.

As you would expect, our Internet Statistics Compendium is stacked full of the latest insight into how the festive season is becoming an increasingly mobile and online orientated affair for more and more people.

Aside from the Christmas trends, there has also been a good amount of data released in the past few months which is looking to the future of mobile devices as even more than an online shopping tool. 

For some, smartphones and tablets are already becoming all-round financial assistants. And early adopters of the newest mobile money technology appear more than satisfied with the growing range of services available.

Mobile banking in the UK

To begin, we need to cast our mind back to September and some excellent data from Tealeaf – which looked into the online (and offline) banking habits of different demographics.

While banking services on smartphone and tablet have some way to catch up with those on desktops and laptops, younger age groups are particularly keen to access their money via mobile.

In the UK, 57% of 25-34 year olds and 53% of 18-24 year olds say they have accessed banking on smartphone or tablet, either via app or mobile web.

Under closer scrutiny, smartphone apps are the most popular mobile way of accessing banking services for both of these age groups, with 22% and 25% doing so respectively.

Mobile and smartphone banking delights customers

Global finance experts Bain & Company know that much of a bank’s success depends on customer loyalty and the need to delight, rather than annoy, those who entrust them with their savings.

The recent report, Customer Loyalty in Retail Banking, looked at all the ways customers were interacting with banks around the globe. 

The UK, along with many countries, found digital channels to be widely used and widely favoured among users. Alongside online tools, mobile and tablet applications are the channels most likely to delight and least likely to annoy customers – even ahead of more traditional activities such as visiting branches or using an ATM.

Positive outlook for mobile payments too

Smartphones and tablets may be proving effective and efficient for managing our money, but they are also fairing pretty well at replacing the need for cash and cards altogether.

Mobile payments have been on the horizon for a while now. As the introduction to eDigitalResearch’s latest Mobile Payment Index highlights, it will be retailers as much as banks and technology providers, who will help push the practice to the masses.

The good news is, according to eDR, those who are using contactless mobile payments already (52% of those who have the capabilities on their devices) are finding them useful and are keen to keep on using them.

65% of users say they will use mobile payments again within three months. It are smaller items which may help drive adoption in 2013, with 58% of these payments going on things such as sandwiches – where users may not have their wallet to hand when wanting to make a quick and/or spontaneous purchase.

EDR’s data also highlights that smartphones and tablets are not yet wholly trusted, with concerns about security and the complexity of the technology still putting some people off.

However, the latest satisfaction trends among banking customers and mobile payment users is enough to warrant a keen eye on the potential to see mobile play an even bigger part in everyday money activities – whether we are keen to save or spend. 

Luke Richards

Published 15 January, 2013 by Luke Richards

Luke Richards is a freelance writer and a guest blogger on Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or check out his blog

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