Two-thirds of defined-contribution plan participants use smartphones and one-quarter use tablets, a report released in October by Spectrem Group found.
While more participants say they own smartphones, they say spend more hours per week on their tablet and use the different tools for different activities. For example, smartphones are used primarily for checking balances and communicating with advisors, while tablets, most likely as a function of their larger size, are used for investment research and trading.
“Plan providers must allow participants access to their personal account balances via tablet and smartphone immediately,” Spectrem writes in the report. “Work should be done to quickly link to the major providers and then develop the ability to interface with multiple mobile providers.”
Apple products are the most popular, but Blackberry smartphones trail the iPhone by just 10 percentage points. The iPad dominates the tablet space; 81% of participants use it.
Regardless of the type of mobile technology, users were most likely to use it to check their accounts and to pay bills. Smartphone users use their phones for investment research and to correspond with their advisors, while participants with tablets use them for investment research and to plan and analyze their financial goals.
Smartphone users spend about 10 hours per week on their phones. Of that, about 8% is spent on financial matters. Men and users under 35 are most likely to use their phones for financial matters.