The UHNW investor uses his smartphone an average of 6.76 hours per week for activities other than making phone calls, texting or reading emails. That includes information retrieval as well as shopping or other functions.
That average is well below the average from the previous three years; in 2014 it was 7.31 hours, in 2013 it was the high of 7.49 and in 2012 it was 7.38. Those under the age of 49 reported more than 15 hours a week of smartphone use for anything other than basic communication functions.
The smartphone can do a lot of things. And UHNW investors are using it for those functions. According to Spectrem's new study Using Social Media and Mobile Technology in Financial Decisions, 40 percent have used their smartphone as a boarding pass at an airport. 14 percent use it to pay for daily incidents such as a coup off coffee or a pastry.
Twelve percent have used their smartphone to transfer money from one account to another. Seven percent have used the smartphone to pay a parking meter. Less than 5 percent have used it to pay at restaurants, department stores or at grocery stores. These numbers followed age lines almost exclusively.
In the study, investors had to determine at what pay price they would feel uncomfortable using a smartphone to make a transaction. The magic number seemed to be $500, as 39 percent said that would be the level where they would give it some thought.
It was revealing that more than $50 also raised some concern. Seventeen percent said a payment of between $50 and $100 would make them uncomfortable, while 13 percent said between $100 and $200 and 7 percent said between 4200 and $500.
Fourteen percent said any payment amount would make them uncomfortable.
Smartphones were rated far more dangerous from a credit safety concern. Asked to place their belief in smartphone and credit card use between 0 and 100 (unsafe to safe), smartphones were rated at 50.26 and credit cards got a rating of 77.85.
The wealthy are more likely to use their smartphones as a payment options. While only 3 percent of all UNHW investors use the smartphone to pay at a restaurant, 13 percent of those worth at least $15 million see it as a viable option. Similarly, while only 7 percent of all UHNW investors pay a parking meter through their smartphone, 16 percent of that wealthiest segment do so.
Segmented by occupation, managers use their smartphones for non-communication purposes more than other occupations, averaging 7.67 hours per week. Professionals (doctors, dentists, lawyers) use it the least, at 6.73 hours per week on average.
But 47 percent of business owners use their smartphone to serve as boarding pass for a plane ticket, while 15 percent of senior corporate executives use it to transfer funds from one individual to another. Managers rarely use it to pay for anything, with none of them using it at restaurants, to pay for train or bus tickets, or at department stores.