CXO optimize

Banks better get moving on extending mobile apps to tablets

If banks want to stay competitive, they may want to focus less on checking fee gimmicks and more on developing apps for mobile banking.

It seems like every 12 seconds there's some kind of bank commercial touting the reasons you should choose it for your banking needs. And while I should choose a financial institution by virtue of its low interest rates, low checking fees, or debit reward points, do you know what my main criteria is? A snazzy tote bag. No, just kidding. Actually, my main criterion is convenience.

That's right: It's as simple as which bank is closest to my house so that I can hit the ATM without paying out-of-network fees. Which bank offers online banking (specifically online bill pay)?

And I'm not alone. A recent study found that 63 percent of U.S. adults who have a bank account indicate that they stay with their current bank because of convenience.

Now my convenience criteria includes which bank offers a mobile web browser because what's more convenient than checking your account balance on your smartphone?

A survey by Harris Interactive on behalf of Yodlee (polling 2,219 adults ages 18 and older) indicates that 49 percent of smartphone owners access their banking information on their smartphones. Thirty-six percent access the information on their tablets.

"Banks have focused on smartphone apps, but stretching the same app to work on a tablet seems to have backfired," says Yodlee Interactive General Manager Joseph Polverari.

What does this mean for banks? It means that optimizing banking on tablets represents a major opportunity to give customers a better and richer experience. If banks need more incentive for "going mobile," consider that of the group surveyed, those with a household income of $75,000 or more are twice as likely to use mobile technologies to deposit their checks.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

11 comments
JohnOfStony
JohnOfStony

As an IT professional, I am all too aware of the security risks inherent in the Internet and there's no way I'd trust my banking to an online system with the one exception of checking the balances on my credit cards. Everything else I do by phone - yes talking to a bank employee! - or physical visits to the bank. I have an account with telephone access 100% of the time, even at midnight on Christmas Eve. Telephone calls are almost unhackable as the timing needs to hit the few minutes when I'm actually on the phone. Also, as I'm registered with the bank, I don't disclose information such as account numbers or PINs except on the rare occasions when I may be making a transfer of funds. In my opinion telephone banking is the best way of combining convenience with security.

Trentski
Trentski

Is the reason I opened a NAB account, unlike bankwest which is just a shortcut to the mobile website

tmoughon
tmoughon

If you are eligible, the USAA banking mobile app is exemplary - better, perhaps, than their full blown web site.

ellisons
ellisons

Not just banks that need to get their heads out of the sand. I am sick of seeing all the "Apps" for Smart Phones and iPhones. Don't these businesses want my money? I don't have or want a Smart Phone or an iPhone. I have a laptop and when a tablet using Windows is available at a real price, I will probably have one of them. Meanwhile those businesses, who only seem to want the other users, are missing out on me as a spending customer. By the time they wake up to this, I will be happily settled with a business who was clever enough to think of me now. I refuse to be forced into buying an over priced status symbol (iPhone/iPad etc) just to keep a few businesses in my list of favorites. And no, I am not a Microsoft addict/employee/shareholder. I just like my plain and simple phone. Cheers, Chris

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"... those with a household income of $75,000 or more are twice as likely to use mobile technologies to deposit their checks." You mean there are people with $75K incomes who aren't already on direct deposit? I don't think I deposit more than four checks a year, and three of them are usually $10 or less. Heck, the only ones I remember writing this year are property taxes and homeowners association dues.

frylock
frylock

for a COBOL compiler on iOS/Android

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I don't have a smart phone either, but I don't see how companies offering mobile applications are saying they don't want my money. These new apps aren't coming at the expense of existing services. I can still shop online, walk into the store, or order from the catalog by snail mail just like I use to. I don't see companies closing old doors while they're adding these new ones, at least not the ones I've been doing business with.

GSG
GSG

That seems as foolish as "Liking" my bank on Facebook so everyone will know where I bank. If I lose my phone, I've done more than half of the work for them by letting them know what bank I use. No, I may bank online, but I use a very specific workstation to do it, and don't use mobile. Plus, I'm like you. I get very few checks per year, and it's easy to deposit them through the ATM at my bank, the drive thru, or the lobby. After all, my bank still gives out suckers (the good ones, not the dum dums) and I can't take advantage of that if I use mobile to deposit a check.

aidemzo_adanac
aidemzo_adanac

Knowing WHERE you bank means nothing. I can walk into any number of banks for my banking, doesn't mean it's MY bank or branch. I also have three bank accounts, with different banks, who cares which I use? Half of WHAT work? Hacking your bank account? I would just follow you to the bank one day if it really helped me scam you. In reality it is so much easier to con money out of people these days than ever before, people don't need to access your account and most banks offer full recovery of any unauthorized funds withdrawls due to scamming or hacking. But now you have me thinking of creating virtual suckers for banks and barbers to hand out with transactions. hmmmmmm. Would you lick YOUR iToy?

GSG
GSG

First, I don't have an iToy, I'm an android person. Second, I know where it's been! What I mean by half the work is the online hacker that uses info from facebook to reset passwords on banking accounts and then get access to your data. That person can't follow me to my bank as they do all their work strictly online. Yeah, they can figure it all out in some fashion, but I'd rather make it as difficult as possible. For example, one of my FB friends announced her Mom's birthday, included Mom's maiden name, and has also liked her bank, and has talked about all of her pets and kids. Usually, that's all you really need to know to re-set a password.