Ongoing concerns over security and a lack of relevant applications are thwarting the growth of mobile technology among small businesses according to a new study conducted by Bank of the West and Harris Interactive between July 10 and August 29.

The findings of the Bank of the West “Going Mobile: Small Business Attitudes About Mobile Technology” study indicated that small business owners currently take full advantage of mobile communication technologies for voice, text, scheduling and navigation and are generally satisfied with the options available to them.

Some survey findings:

  • Nine out of ten small business owners who participated in the survey said they use mobile technology on their smart phones and tablets.  Nearly sixty percent, however, lamented the lack of mobile applications that are relevant to their businesses.
  • Survey participants overwhelmingly expressed a desire to see additional offerings designed to help them acquire new customers, take payments, and manage their existing customer relations.  In fact, “fewer relevant uses for my business” was cited as the primary obstacle to broader adoption.
  • Although the overwhelming number of the 800 small business owners surveyed said that they had never been the victim of data theft, 56 percent said that security concerns have also factored into their decisions not to more fully implement mobile technology for their small businesses.
  • 25 percent cited the prohibitive cost of mobile technology as a deterrent to broader adoption.
  • Of survey participants who have embraced mobile technology, 68 percent said it has helped improve the efficiency of their small businesses. Respondents cited mobile technologies for making payments to suppliers, accepting payments from customers, invoicing and payroll, and other financial activities as areas that had experienced the greatest increases in efficiency.
  • Survey participants overwhelmingly agreed that mobile technology has the potential to benefit their small businesses. Sixty-five percent said mobile technology has been critical to their current success, and 74 percent said they think it will play an increasing role in the future.

Bank of the West Executive Vice President and Small & Mid Enterprise Banking Division Manager Michelle Di Gangi said, “We learned, and the Harris study supports, that while small business owners are not early adopters of mobile technology – they tend to wait until someone like them has bought it and endorses it – they do see its growing importance in the success of their business.”


Bank of the West.  “Going Mobile: Small Business Attitudes About Mobile Technology”  Sacramento Bee.  10/05/2012.

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