Online Finance Consumers Like Their Wires

When it comes to wireless financial services, consumers may not be ready to cut the cord, according to a survey by Cyber Dialogue. More than one-third of intensive online users (39 percent) are not interested in conducting any online financial services delivered via a cellular phone.

The report asked Internet users who are not currently using online financial services what financial services they would like to receive or conduct via a cell phone. The findings were surprising: modest interest for stock quotations, fund transfers and bill payments with online investment trading at the bottom of the list. Online consumers expressed the most interest in checking account balances and using email via a cellular phone. Listed below are the percentages of intensive online adults interested in conducting the stated online financial services via a cell phone:

However, there is a market ready for trading investments and checking stock quotes via a cell phone – Internet users who are already using online financial services. The study found that in this market sector 95 percent are interested in trading investments and 93 percent are interested in checking stock quotes via a cell phone.

“No doubt the market most ripe for online financial services via cell phones is the approximately 30 million cybercitizens already using the Internet for their financial service needs,” said Sam Callard, a senior analyst in Cyber Dialogue’s Finance Practice. “To capitalize on this market, financial service companies need to offer a compelling reason why consumers should start transacting via their cellular phones.”


Interest in Wireless Financial Services*
Check account balances 48%
Send and receive email 47%
Transfer funds 27%
Pay bills 25%
Check stock quotes 24%
Trade investments 13%
* Among intensive online adults interested in conducting
stated online financial services via a cell phone
Source: Cyber Dialogue

Demographically, men are more interested than women in conducting financial services via cell phones and 18 to 29 year olds are more interested than 30 to 49 year olds in checking stock quotes and trading investments via their cell phones.

Cyber Dialogue’s report also found that of those interested in receiving online financial services via a cell phone, the highest percentages bank primarily at a national bank, as opposed to a regional bank, community bank, credit union, or thrift. In particular, online consumers who bank primarily at a national bank comprise 46 percent of those reporting interest in checking stock quotes via a cell phone and 42 percent of those interested in wireless stock trades. Credit union or thrift customers comprise the smallest percentages of cybercitizens interested in wireless financial service transactions.

Other Cyber Dialogue findings include:

  • 57 percent of those online users expressing no interest in conducting wireless financial service transactions are 30-49 years old
  • Of those online users who are interested in trading investments via a cell phone, 71 percent are men and 29 percent are women.

The following findings are from Cyber Dialogue’s April 2000 Omnibus, an in-depth survey of 500 US adults drawn from Cyber Dialogue’s database of intensive online adults. Data is weighted by online usage and demographics to reflect the general online US population.

An study by Fidelity Investments® found that among online traders who own two-way pagers or PDAs, 32 percent monitor their investments via these devices, and 19 percent use one or both devices to place trades. In a separate poll of its own customers, Fidelity found that among its online customers that own smart phones, 25 percent use them for tracking news and information, obtaining stock quotes and/or investing activities.

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