Consumer Credit Card Mobile Apps: Waiting for Prime Time


With the U.S. on the eve of the era of mobile phone-based payments and with mobile banking applications gaining consumer traction, mobile apps for credit cards may become critical features of credit card accounts in the future. Surprisingly, many issuers bury their current credit card apps in a broader online/mobile banking site and fail to feature the full extent of their mobile app features.

Author: Tim Sloane
Published on: September 12, 2012

Mercator Advisory Group’s latest report, Consumer Credit Card Mobile Apps: Waiting for Prime Time?, reviews consumers current mobile banking activities and the positioning of leading issuers’ mobile apps today, and discusses future fields of mobile app development.

“Credit card issuers may be waiting for the highly anticipated dawn of the era of mobile payments, with its presumed dependence upon Near Field Communication-equipped smartphones and POS terminals. As discussed in the report, enabling a card account on a smartphone may indeed open new frontiers for account management tools and other mobile apps. However, these capabilities also open new battlefields for competitive account offerings, and issuers not serving their account holders,” growing mobile appetites may find themselves at a competitive disadvantage. The era of mobile payments is not yet here, and the road to NFC-based payments seems longer every day, so there is still time to develop competitive mobile apps to intrigue and please account holders,” comments Ken Paterson, VP for Research Operations at Mercator Advisory Group and the primary author of the report.

  • Current usage of banking apps and alerts
  • Smartphone penetration of the adult population in the U.S. and consumer attitudes toward mobile security for banking and payments
  • Opportunities for credit card issuers (especially those with broad retail banking business lines) to highlight the availability of mobile credit card apps and the value they can deliver to cardholders
  • Reasons for major issuers’ delay in developing credit card apps that can leverage new mobile capabilities
  • The potential mobile payments offer for differentiating apps for account management, personal financial management, rewards and offer presentment, and security


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