Mind the App: Mobile Access to Financial Information and Consumer Behavior
52 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2020 Last revised: 27 Jan 2021
Date Written: March 17, 2020
We use transaction data from an account aggregation company to study the impact of access to personal financial information from mobile devices on consumer behavior. We study consumers who installed the mobile app after using the app on a PC for several months. We utilize the gradual release of the apps on different devices (iPhone, iPad, and Android) to establish a causal relationship conditional on the adoption of a mobile app. Consistent with rational inattention models, consumers increase their login frequency, especially during retail peak hours. Consistent with costly self-control and reference-dependent utility models, we find that consumers decrease their discretionary spending, and these effects are stronger among lower-income and high-spending-to-income consumers.
Keywords: fintech, behavioral economics, household finance, consumption, spending, rational inattention, self-control, reference-dependent utility.
JEL Classification: D1, G4, G5
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation