Federal Reserve says mobile banking on the rise: The Federal Reserve has released a survey evaluating the mobile banking landscape in the United States, which says that 28 percent of all cellphone users have used their mobile device to bank in the past 12 months — up from 21 percent in December 2011.
Security concerns and a sense that mobile banking offers few advantages are holding adoption back, the survey said — certain activities have seen large jumps in adoption, however, such as depositing checks using mobile phones and using devices for research while shopping.
Mobile banking, the survey said, is particularly popular among the “underbanked,” or those who have bank accounts but use check cashers and payday lenders. Nearly half, 49 percent, of these consumers said they had used mobile banking in the past 12 months.
FTC releases infographic on kids apps: The Federal Trade Commission released an infographic Thursday advising parents on the best ways to evaluate if a mobile app is appropriate for their child.
The infographic recommends checking whether a particular app connects to social networks, processes payments, includes ads and collects personal information — functions that the agency has previously said kid-focused apps should disclose more clearly.
The agency also said that parents should carefully review app summaries and play through applications before letting their kids use the apps on their own.
T-Mobile, MetroPCS merger: The proposed merger between T-Mobile and MetroPCS may have cleared regulatory hurdles, but the deal got a thumbs-down from an investor advising group, Bloomberg reported.
The proposal still requires approval from MetroPCS shareholders, and a vote is scheduled for April. The advising group, Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc., said it opposes the deal because MetroPCS can still thrive as an independent company, and the group believes T-Mobile does not bring enough to the table.
Adults more likely to text and drive: Adults are more likely to text and drive than teenagers, according to a new survey from AT&T, that found nearly half of commuters admitted to texting and driving.
What makes the statistic even more surprising is that 98 percent of adults surveyed said that they know that the habit is dangerous, but continue because it has become second nature; they feel it makes them more productive or helps them feel connected. In fact, the problem is actually getting worse — according to the survey, six of 10 drivers said they never texted while behind the wheel just three years ago.
AT&T used the results to talk about its “Texting and Driving...It Can Wait” campaign, which encourages drivers to take a pledge not to text messages behind the wheel.
Sprint deal draws new scrutiny: The pending deal between Sprint and SoftBank is raising new concerns about China and cybersecurity, The Wall Street Journal reported. According to the article, unnamed “people familiar with the situation” say that the U.S government’s request for oversight of the companies’ equipment purchases stem from worries that network equipment made in China could be used to spy on American companies.
The House committee focused on intelligence specifically examining the practices of Huawei and ZTE in a hearing in the fall, concluding that using those companies’ equipment could pose a national security risk.