Consumer demand for tablets, tablet applications and specifically banking via a tablet computer such as the iPad is high, according to an Oracle survey of 3,000 mobile phone users around the world. Smartphones are the reigning mobile device - nearly 70% of mobile users have them. But 16% of mobile customers have bought a tablet computer and another 41% plan to purchase one in the next 12 months.

Mobile users have gotten more comfortable downloading applications to their devices, the survey found. Fifty-five percent have downloaded a free app for their mobile phone in the past year,up from 42% a year ago.

Asked which device they would like for banking and finance apps, 34% said they would choose a tablet computer and 11% said a mobile phone; 55% said both. The tablet preference is extraordinary, given the relatively low rate of tablet ownership.

Among North Americans, 56% use a smartphone, 10% have a tablet, and 26% plan to purchase a tablet in the next 12 months. Almost half of U.S. consumers (43%) have downloaded a free mobile app.

Despite dramatic increases in mobile device use, however, the survey results showed anemic interest in mobile payments. Only 6% of respondents have made a purchase using their mobile phone while in a store instead of cash or a credit card this year, and a low 21% say they would be very comfortable making a purchase with their mobile phone.

The barrier is security issues: 68% of surveyed consumers think the information stored or transmitted by their phone isn't or may not be secure.

But in a piece of good news for any financial institution planning a location-based app, 45% of mobile-savvy consumers say they have already elected to share their location with a mobile app, up from the 33% last year who were interested in receiving relevant content based on their location.

The survey also found consumers embracing other mobile commerce activities banks could engage in. Thirty percent have comparison shopped with their mobile phones, 24% have read customer reviews and 14% have scanned a quick response code (a two-dimensional bar code in an ad or article).