Mobile credit card apps growing in popularity

As mobile phone technology continues to increase and be adopted by more consumers, a greater number are using their smartphones’ and special applications to access details about their banking and credit card accounts.

The rate at which consumers used smartphones to check on their bank accounts and credit cards increased significantly in the first half of the year, according to a report from the digital tracking consulting service comScore. About 14 percent of the total U.S. mobile audience – which accounts for about 32.5 million users – was using mobile banking to manage their accounts as of June 2011, up 21 percent from the nearly 26.8 million at the end of 2010.

However, 18.4 million consumers are now using their smartphone to access and manage their credit card accounts, the report said. That’s a sharper increase than in mobile banking, as the number rose 23 percent from the more than 14.9 million at the end of December 2010.

Further, the number of people using specialized applications to manage their various accounts increased even more sharply, the report said. Mobile banking application use exploded to a total of more than 12.7 million users, up 45 percent from December’s total of more than 8.7 million. Meanwhile, credit card app use also spiked to more than 6 million users, up 43 percent from the previous total of nearly 4.2 million.

Credit card users also accessed their accounts using mobile technology with far greater frequency, the report said. The total number of consumers who used their mobile device to access these details (via mobile browser, app or text message) rose to 53 percent in all, with text messaging remaining the most common method at 26 percent of respondents. Meanwhile, 50 percent of those polled said they used an app to check their account details once a week, and 37 percent said they did so by browser.

For consumers who are having trouble managing their credit card debt responsibly, it may make sense to seek the help of a credit counseling agency. Doing so will allow a consumer to be connected with a trained and certified financial professional who can walk them through the steps they will need to take to get their finances and debt back in order.