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American Banker | November 11, 2010
More than half of the nation's largest financial institutions offer
mobile banking services, which continue to evolve from being an
extension of online banking to a distinct payments channel. An
increasing number of mobile banking systems support person-to-person
funds transfers and other payment capabilities, a report from First
Annapolis Consulting Inc. of Linthicum, Md., said. The report is based
on a study performed in August and September of the mobile offerings of
the top 100 banks as ranked by deposits. The report was released Monday.
Fifty-four of those banks offer mobile banking services. That was
"consistent with the fundamental trend and movement toward mobile, and
serves as a bit of a wake-up call" to those not offering such services,
Paul Grill, a partner at First Annapolis, said in an interview. Some
banks that did not offer mobile banking said they were "not interested,
given the characteristics of their customer base," Grill said.
Thirty-nine percent of the financial institutions offered access to
banking services through a mobile phone's Web browser and 32% did so
through text messages and alerts. Thirty-two percent offered mobile
banking applications, the report said.
The research identified
Apple Inc.'s mobile platform as the most popular for mobile banking
apps, with 28% of the banks choosing it. Sixteen percent of the banks
offered an app for Research in Motion Ltd.'s BlackBerry and 14% offered
one for phones running Google Inc.'s Android system.
found little difference between the capabilities of mobile websites and
apps. Balance inquiries and transaction histories are standard services,
but First Annapolis contends that new features will help banks
differentiate themselves in the marketplace. Seventeen percent of the
banks offered branch and ATM locators that rely on phones' GPS
technology. Thirty-five percent allowed mobile bill-payment services,
though most banks required consumers to set up a list of payees first
through online banking.
The report found that 23 of the banks
were expanding their app offerings with mobile remote deposit capture,
P-to-P payments, loyalty programs and rewards management and redemption.
Grill said mobile banking apps eventually will help banks compete
against nonbanks. "There is potential for a gap between what financial
institutions offer [in mobile payments] relative to others in the
marketplace," he said.
Banks should examine different approaches
to mobile payments such as P-to-P funds transfers, remittance options
and deposit-account-based remote payment capabilities, First Annapolis
said. They also should seek to enhance their apps with mobile wallets
that enable consumers to manage their payment products and other mobile
commerce apps from a central location, the report said. Banks should
also participate in pilot tests to determine how to enable mobile-based
payment products at the point of sale, First Annapolis said.
Link to story on American Banker web site
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