Almost three-fourths of all defined contribution plan participants own smartphones, but they don’t use it for all of its possible financial purposes, a new Spectrem study finds.
They do use their smartphones often, however. Of the plan participants who use a smartphone, 11 percent use it between 21 and 40 hours a week for purposes other than calling, texting and email. One percent say they are on it more than 41 hours a week beyond its communication purposes. The average for plan participants with a smartphone is 10.35 hours per week.
The data comes from the Spectrem study Plan Participant Social Media and Mobile Technology Usage.
According to the study, younger plan participants (under 35 years of age) use their smartphone an average of almost 13 hours per week beyond communication, while the older participants (50 and older) use it just under nine hours per week.
Females are busier on their smartphones then men, 11.3 hours per week for females to just 9.2 hours for males.
Smartphone usage decreases as retirement fund accounts increase. Those with less than $10,000 in a 401(k) or similar account use the smartphone 12.3 hours per week beyond communication, while those with more than $100,000 in an account use it just eight hours per week.
From a finances standpoint, 78 percent of plan participants with smartphones use it to access personal account information, and 43 percent of those do it on at least a weekly basis. Seventy-five percent use it for bill payment. Forty-two percent use it for investment trading.
However, of the 42 percent who use the smartphone for investment trading, only 17 percent do so on a monthly or more frequent basis. Twenty-five percent say they do it less frequently than monthly, and 58 percent don’t do it at all.
In terms of communicating, 58 percent said they would communicate with a financial advisor or provider on their smartphone, and 32 percent said they would be willing to communicate by text.
One of the reasons to have a smartphone is for its applications, or “apps”. Fifty percent of plan participants with a smartphone want an app to look at all of their balances at one place, even if they are from multiple providers.
Thirty-three percent want an app that includes advice from financial experts, and 27 percent want to see professional profiles of financial advisors. Even among older plan participants, desire for apps in all financial categories is above 20 percent.
For more information on the Spectrem study Plan Participant Social Media and Mobile Technology Usage, click here.