The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has started a probe into the opportunities and challenges associated with the use of mobile financial services, as it gears to protect interests of both unbanked and underserved consumers.

The US consumer watchdog is exploring how mobile technologies can contribute to make banking easier for the tens of millions of people without bank account and those with limited access to financial institutions.

CFPB Director Richard Cordray said, "In a world where people can manage their money on the go, there is great potential to serve more consumers and allow them to take greater control of their finances."

"But we need to make sure all consumers are protected whether they are opening their wallets or scanning the screen on their smartphones."

This move by CFPB comes at a time when more banks and financial institutions are using online and mobile banking service to attract more and more customers and enable them to manage their finances remotely.

Nearly 90% of US consumers own a cell phone, out of which 60% are smartphones, besides approximately 50 million tablets.

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The data by the consumer watchdog reveals that 74,000 customers per day started using mobile banking services for the first time in 2013.

Focusing on mobile banking services and mobile financial management services, the agency wants to find out whether increased use of mobile devices could affect the availability and location of bank branches and inconvenience some users.

In addition, the CFPB also wants to find out whether the additional customer services and data and privacy protections measures for mobile users, are being implemented by the financial organisations.

The agency is requesting comments and suggestions from public on mobile financial services till 9 September.