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Smartphones Shaping What Consumers Expect from Financial Institutions
Monday, June 24, 2013 9:45 AM

People expect service, simplicity and the ability to share socially wherever they happen to live, especially if they wield a smartphone. That's the conclusion of a survey published last week by payments processor First Data, which found more than half of shoppers in 10 countries want to be able to move among their computers, phones and retail stores with ease.

The expectations extend to banking. Seventy-six percent of U.S. consumers expect to be able to access their financial accounts in real time, compared with 71 percent of consumers worldwide. More than half of consumers globally bank online via a computer, while about 25% use their smartphones to view their accounts.

Consumers also want advertising and other messages from banks and other businesses to reflect their transaction histories and preferences. Overall, 58 percent of consumers expect their financial institution to do a better job of considering their individual circumstances, according to the survey, which found that consumers in the U.S., China and Mexico have the least tolerance for technology that's not intuitive and easy to use.

The most important predictor of consumers' expectations is whether they use a smartphone, First Data found. While mobile phone penetration neared 100 percent in the countries surveyed, smartphone use varies by location, with China (92 percent), Singapore (89 percent) and the Middle East (80 percent) showing the highest use of the devices.

Consumers also are taking to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other social media to tell others about their experiences — good, and especially bad - according to the survey, which found that half of consumers, on average, post reviews online.

Nearly half of people surveyed say they prefer companies that use social media and technology smartly, the survey found.