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.
Toni Bowers is the former 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.