Tip of the Week
An overwhelming majority (85 percent) of Americans say they check their phones at least a few times a day, according to the inaugural Bank of America Trends in Consumer Mobility Report. The survey explored mobile trends and banking behaviors among adults across the country, and found that among those respondents who said they use their phones for mobile banking, almost one-third (31 percent) say they log on at least once a day, and more than four out of five (82 percent) access their accounts at least once a week or more.
The report revealed further interesting insights into consumer mobile banking behaviors and preferences, including:
* Mobile banking is on the rise. More than half (62 percent) of respondents have at least tried mobile banking, while an overwhelming majority (90 percent) are using online banking. When using their bank’s mobile app, U.S. consumers most commonly check their balance, transfer funds between accounts and pay bills.
* Sophisticated banking transactions becoming more prevalent on mobile devices. Consumers are also using their smartphones for more complex transactions, including mobile check deposit. Nearly six in 10 (58 percent) respondents have used mobile check deposit, and 38 percent use it frequently.
* Consumers prefer a mix of banking options. Mobile and online banking are becoming more widely used, but visits to bank branches are still common. The survey found that 84 percent of respondents have visited a bank branch within the past six months. Most commonly, Americans make a trip to the bank to make a deposit, withdraw funds and speak with a banking associate. However, just 23 percent of respondents say they complete the majority of their banking transactions at a branch.
* Consumers are becoming comfortable with added security measures. In the next two years, 60 percent of consumers say they would be comfortable with a fingerprint scan/swipe security feature to gain access to their mobile banking app. Nearly one-third expressed comfort with retina scans (32 percent) and voice recognition (33 percent).
Storms are common this time of year and, unfortunately, so are scammers that follow in their wake. Often, following a damaging storm, a “contractor” will appear at your day the next day offering a great price on repair work. Commit now, they say, and they can begin work the next day.
The contractor will either want upfront payment or for you to sign a contract allowing the business to negotiate with your homeowners insurance on your behalf. Do this, and your entire insurance check may go to the storm chaser regardless of the quality or quantity of work completed.
Some “storm chasers” do complete the job as described, but poor craftsmanship and materials mean that you need the roof repaired again a few months later, when the business has moved on to a new storm-damaged region. In more extreme cases, contractors may simply take your payment, completing part or none of the work, and disappear.
Protect yourself by getting multiple quotes, checking reference and always getting the offer in writing.
— Better Business Bureau
Top disclosing political donors, 2014
1. Thomas Steyer, $20,451,300
2. Michael Bloomberg, $9,495,798
3. Fred Eychaner, $5,803,200
4. Paul Singer, $5,101,349
5. Richard Uihlein, $4,326,950
6. James Simons, $3,347,100
7. Robert Mercer, $3,228,600
8. Bob Perry, $3,120,800
9. Jerrold Perenchio, $2,173,600
10. Thomas John Jordan, $2,117,703
— Center for Responsive Politics
Number to Know
10 million: The number of PlayStation 4s sold globally since the gaming platform’s launch in November 2013.
In its latest 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Twitter acknowledged that about 11 percent, 30 million users, of its 271 million active users solely use third-party applications, such as Tweetdeck, to access Twitter. Of that group, about 23 million users, 8.5 percent of active Twitter accounts, update their accounts “without any discernable additional user-initiated action.” An example of that would be an account that automatically retweets items containing certain keywords.
Biz Bits: Americans make habit of online, mobile banking
Tip of the Week