CFPB Eyes Mobile Banking

No brainer: Financial institutions have to offer mobile banking. Nearly 90 percent of Americans own a cell phone, 60 percent of those mobiles are Smartphones, and half the nation’s consumers have tablets. Half of those with Smartphones are monitoring their financial accounts or conducting transitions through their devices. A Federal Reserve study finds that last year, 74,000 people per day got on the mobile banking bandwagon.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is launching an “inquiry into the opportunities and challenges” mobile banking services provide to the unbanked and underserved consumers.

“In this modern age where people can manage their money on the go, there is great potential to provide access to more consumers and allow them to take greater control of their financial lives,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray in an address this week in New Orleans. “At the same time, using mobile devices for all sorts of banking services can make some transactions cheaper or faster or both. But we need to make sure that the legal and regulatory framework can keep up effectively, so that all consumers can remain protected whether they are opening their wallet or scanning the screen on their smartphone.”

Areas of interest include:

  • Access to the underserved;
  • Real-time money management;
  • Customer service; and
  • Privacy and data breach concerns.

The CFPB has issued a Request for Information to learn more about how consumers are using mobile financial services, with comments due September 9, 2014.

Questions about this story? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225,

Posted in Federal.