Research Reveals U.S. Consumer Obsession With Bank Balances

Survey Points to Bright Future for Mobile Banking

Sep 11, 2007, 01:00 ET from Sybase 365

    DUBLIN, Calif., Sept. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- U.S. consumers are
 obsessed with managing their personal finances, according to research
 released by Sybase 365, a subsidiary of Sybase, Inc. (NYSE:   SY), the global
 leader in messaging interoperability and mobile content delivery. More than
 a third of U.S. consumers, dubbed 'nano-economists,' are able to state
 their bank balance at any given time, and an additional 42 percent
 typically know their bank balance to the nearest $200.
     The Sybase 365 mobile banking survey, titled 'Mobile Opportunities for
 the Financial Sector', was conducted in July 2007 across the Americas
 including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil. The
 study revealed that U.S. consumers are particularly obsessed with their
 finances, checking bank balances more frequently than the other regions. A
 majority of U.S. consumers check their bank balances very frequently; 61
 percent admit to checking their bank balance at least every few days,
 including the core 29 percent who require daily updates.
     The survey highlights another breed of personal banker, the 'financial
 ostrich', a term used to describe a small proportion of U.S. consumers (3
 percent) who are completely ignorant about how much money is in their bank
 account at any given time. However, today's fast-paced society, coupled
 with the wealth of tools available to track their finances, means it is
 hard for consumers to remain in the dark.
     The trend to remain abreast of personal finances has been made possible
 by the United States' technology-driven society with information and data
 services becoming increasingly accessible to consumers. Currently, U.S.
 consumers are banking via multiple methods with the vast majority using
 Internet banking (76 percent) to check their bank balance. Interestingly,
 the United States still has the most reliance on the postal service
 compared to the other regions surveyed in the Americas with nearly a
 quarter of U.S. consumers dependent on receiving their bank statements by
     The surge in Internet banking over the past two years has primarily
 been due to the convenience the service offers consumers. Similarly, mobile
 banking will provide consumers with the advantage of being able to manage
 their money on the move, suggesting it is the natural next step for banking
     As the predecessor to mobile banking, exploring the adoption of
 Internet banking also reveals some interesting parallels in terms of
 overcoming barriers, such as security concerns. U.S. consumers are now
 comfortable with Internet banking and therefore, the majority trust that
 the service is secure (57 percent). However, only 24 percent consider
 mobile banking to be secure. Consumers' lack of confidence in the security
 of mobile banking is due to a lack of knowledge, which is typical for new
 technologies. As more people adopt mobile banking, consumer perception
 around its security will change.
     Additionally, mobile banking has not yet reached widespread consumer
 consciousness in the United States. In fact, a staggering 59 percent do not
 even know if their bank offers mobile banking, suggesting banks need to
 embark on a customer awareness campaign.
     "Online banking is currently the number one way consumers check their
 account, but it didn't become mainstream over night. Mobile banking is well
 on its way to gaining the same wide-spread popularity among consumers,"
 said Marty Beard, president, Sybase 365. "Consumers are already dependent
 on having many conveniences at their fingertips, and eventually that will
 expand to include banking abilities. Financial institutions will soon have
 to meet consumer demands and market mobile offerings to remain
     About Sybase 365
     Sybase 365, a subsidiary of Sybase, Inc. (NYSE:   SY), leads the world in
 the global delivery and settlement of mobile messaging interoperability,
 and the management and distribution of mobile content. Processing more than
 6 billion messages per month, Sybase 365 reaches more than 700 mobile
 operators around the world. For more information, visit:

SOURCE Sybase 365