The percentage of consumers using mobile devices to access their brokerage accounts nearly doubled in the last three years, according to a report by Corporate Insight. A survey of over 1,500 online investors found 43% have used a mobile device to access their account at least once in the past year, up from 28% in 2011.
The 2014 Investor Survey Report attributed a lot of the growth to millennial investors.
“Younger investors are much more interested in managing their accounts using a mobile platform than older investors are,” Anneli Lefranc, senior research associate at Corporate Insight and primary author of the study, said in a statement. “For many millennials, the mobile investing experience is the customer experience.”
Millennials were more likely to use a mobile device to place trades than older respondents. Across all age groups, the primary reason for signing on from a phone or tablet was to check an account.
The report found no significant difference in mobile use between self-directed investors and those who use a full-service brokerage. However income and the type of device respondents owned were factors in mobile usage. Forty-six percent of mobile users accessed their mobile account through an iPhone app, and 35% used an iPad app. Twenty-seven percent went through an Android app.
Corporate Insight noted that respondents with higher annual household incomes were more likely to use iPhone and iPad apps than other investors. However, iPhone apps were still used more often than other devices, even among those with income under $40,000.
The report detailed ways for firms to improve their mobile offerings. Indeed, just 37% of mobile users said they were “very satisfied” with their firm’s mobile platform, even though 53% said they were that happy with the firm overall.
Younger investors in particular want to see apps built specifically for their device, rather than a mobile-friendly website.
“Mobile investing is still a relatively new concept for the brokerage industry, so it’s natural that there will be some growing pains here,” Silviya Simeonova, analyst and study co-author, said in a statement. “That said, investment firms must recognize that young customers expect a lot from their brokerage apps. Mobile development must be a top priority if firms are serious about serving tomorrow’s investor.”
The report also examined mobile usage based on the firm where respondents held their accounts. Among the five most represented firms, Fidelity clients were most likely to use a mobile device to check account information.
E-Trade clients, probably not surprisingly, were most likely to make trades using the mobile platform, although a significant percentage used it to view stock quotes. TD Ameritrade clients were most likely to view quotes through the mobile platform.
Related on ThinkAdvisor:
- 10 Best Mobile Apps for Financial Advisors: 2014
- Top 12 Tech Trends Impacting Advisors: Mary Meeker
- 6 Top Mobile Websites for Investors: Dalbar