Published in Credit Union Times

By Robert McGarvey

Has mobile banking plateaued?

Having won over the early adopters, has it hit a wall in terms of converting new users?

Several recent studies have been cited in support of that theory.

Understand, however, that many say that is nonsense. Instead, they say, we are still in the early days of what will eventually become the primary banking avenue, as the sheer convenience of an always-on bank in one’s pocket wins the war.

Detractors point to the Federal Reserve’s recent study, “Consumers and Mobile Financial

Services 2014,” as exhibit A in the plateau argument. Buried in the report are intriguing data points, including:

* The share of smartphone users who have made a mobile payment in the past 12 months has remained constant at 24%. Among all consumers, only 14% have done so.

* Only 30% of consumers said they have used mobile banking in the past 12 months.

* Among mobile banking users, only 38% have made at least one mobile remote deposit capture transaction in the past year.

“I think 39% is high, for a technology that is so young.” Added Andrew Tilbury, chief marketing officer at Henderson, Nev.-based fintech provider Bluepoint Solutions. “To see MRDC take off at the same time check usage is declining says quite a bit.”

Add it up and, yes, the rate of mobile banking and MRDC adoption may be slowing. But, said many experts, that is no sign of a plateau, so much as it is a sign of a technology that won early adopters already and now it is a matter of winning over holdouts.