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Survey Smartphone users report more tech problems
MADISON, Wis. (8/14/12)--As more credit unions introduce mobile banking, they may become entangled within the technical problems smartphone users are experiencing with their phones.

Smartphone owners--who compose about half of cell phone owners--experienced a higher frequency of tech problems than those with "simple feature" phones, according to a survey conducted by the Internet and American Life Project of the Pew Research Center in April.

About 88% of American adults have cell phones, the survey found.

Of those surveyed, about 35% of smartphone users struggled with dropped calls at least weekly, compared with 28% for other cell phone owners.

Roughly 79% of cell phone owners said they use text messaging. About 29% of smartphone owners received unwanted texts or spam messages at least weekly, compared with 20% of other cell phone users.

Some 55% of cell phone owners say they use their phones to go online--to browse the Internet, exchange e-mails, or download apps. Roughly 49% of smartphone users experienced slow download speeds, compared with 31% of other cell phone users.

Despite the technology challenges, credit unions nationwide are reporting success with mobile banking.

More than 1,000 member of $2.3 billion Virginia CU, Richmond, Va., made a deposit using a smartphone in July--the largest number of mobile depositors since the credit union began offering the service in April.

Since rolling out mobile banking to its full membership in May, $2.1 billion Coastal FCU, Raleigh, N.C., has enlisted 8,900 members for its service, according to the Detroit News (Aug. 6).

State Employees' CU, also located in Raleigh, with $25 billion in assets, has offered mobile banking since 2008, according to the Detroit News. More than 150,000 of the credit union's 1.8 million members use the service, a 52% increase from a year ago.

Credit unions also are adding more features and capabilities to their mobile banking service lines.

American Airlines FCU, with $5.5 billion in assets, Fort Worth, Texas, updated its CUAcce$$ Mobile smartphone apps to include a check deposit feature. The new feature allows members with camera-enabled mobile devices to take photos of the front and back of their checks to make remote deposits.

McGraw-Hill FCU launched a mobile banking iPad app. The $293 million asset East Windsor, N.J. credit union is among the roughly 4% of credit unions nationally to implement a tablet application.

Its mobile banking suite is also accessible through iPhone and Android smartphones. About 40% of the credit union's membership use smartphone mobile banking.

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