Two Thirds Of Small Businesses Now Banking on Mobile Devices

Just when you thought you had mobile banking under control, this survey of small businesses should remind you there is more to the mobile space than just the consumer market.

One in three small businesses now say they use mobile banking on a weekly basis, while another third use mobile banking but less frequently. 33% claim to have never used mobile banking at all. Only 18% see no need for mobile banking.

By comparison, 75% of small businesses say they use online banking on a weekly basis, 21% use online banking less frequently and 4% have never used online banking at all.

These findings are part of a study, “Monetizing Mobile Banking for Small Business Customers,” which examines how small businesses are currently utilizing mobile banking services, as well as what features they would benefit from and whether they would be willing to pay for them.

The study was fielded by RateWatch, a banking data and analytics service owned by TheStreet, and Simon-Kucher & Partners, a strategy and marketing consulting firm.

Most small businesses would prefer to pay a monthly fee for unlimited transactional and informational services. The median amount that companies said they were willing to pay as a monthly fee for unlimited transactions ranged from $1 to $10.

“A wide range of small businesses are willing to pay for more advanced mobile banking features, but most financial institutions are only offering free basic services,” said Jamie Zussman, Business Development Associate for RateWatch.

“Our survey identifies a need in the marketplace for mobile banking solutions that create value for small businesses and consequently, could generate revenue for banks,” added Jens Baumgarten, Partner, Head of Banking and Financial Services North America for Simon-Kucher & Partners.

In the survey, small businesses said the most essential mobile banking services included accessing account info, receiving alerts, and transferring money between accounts to optimize savings portfolio or to pay off a loan.

Respondents also cited security concerns such as reporting/blocking lost/stolen cards and monitoring fraudulent activities as important features they looked for in their banking provider’s mobile offering.

Some participants in the study were also interested in the ability to capture and store receipts, and requesting “payment flexibility” for loans, mortgages, or credit cards attached to their business.

For the 2014 Monetizing Mobile Banking for Small Business Customers Study, researchers surveyed a total of 147 U.S. small businesses with no more than $5 million in annual revenues. Over 20 major industries were represented, including retail trade, construction, finance, insurance, professional, scientific, and technical services. Over 75% of respondents were individually responsible for managing all of the day-to-day banking for their business.

An executive summary of the report is available online.

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