NEW YORK: Many consumers in the US are turning to mobile devices to manage their finances, but security fears are holding back progress in this area, a survey has found.

The Mobile and Money report was based on a poll of 1,242 young, digitally-engaged early adopters by trade body the Interactive Advertising Bureau, mobile ad group InMobi and second-screen media platform Viggle. 

Some 58% of these respondents regularly used their bank's mobile app, while a further 25% were aware of such a tool but had not yet used it.

Broadly similar figures were recorded relating to banks' mobile-optimised websites, with 50% of respondents using these services and another 26% being aware of, but not actually using, it.

Just over half the survey panel (52%) wanted a guarantee that financial transactions were safe, even if they lost their phone, before they would consider shifting more such activities to their mobile device.

An additional 46% also wanted to see better security on mobile networks.

"Most financial apps already contain rock-solid security, but consumers seem not to be as plugged into that fact, and that knowledge gap can make all the difference in driving further usage and adoption," said Anna Bager, Vice President and General Manager, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB.

"This is an area that financial services marketers should pay attention to in their future campaigns," she added.

The report also found that "virtual wallets" were becoming popular, with more consumers using their smartphones to pay for various items, such as digital products, cited by 45%, tickets, mentioned by 37%, or real goods such as coffee, referred to by 34%.

While consumers appeared willing to use their phones for payment, retailers were less ready to accept them.

"The impediment is with retailers and individuals not currently being set up to accept those payments," commented Shrikant Latkar, Vice President, Global Marketing, InMobi.

"It is fascinating, however, to see how far this has come so quickly," he continued. "In some cases, like morning coffee, paying with your mobile phone has almost become routine."

Data sourced from IAB, InMobi; additional content by Warc staff