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81pc of top 100 financial institutions offer mobile banking: study

First Annapolis Consulting’s “2012 Mobile Banking and Payments Study” looked at how the top 100 financial institutions stack up with mobile initiatives including applications, mobile sites and SMS programs. The study points to mobile as being standard as part of a financial institution’s comprehensive online banking tools.

“The majority of the banks are using multiple channels as part of an omnichannel strategy that tries to serve consumers on multiple channels,” said Paul Grill, partner at First Annapolis Consulting, Baltimore.

“However, the majority of the growth is in the app channel because apps provide a richer customer service experience,” he said.

Mobile growth
Compared to the 81 percent in 2012, 73 percent of financial institutions had established a mobile banking service in 2011.

In 2010, 54 percent of the top 100 financial institutions offered mobile banking.

Of the 81 banks that have a mobile presence in 2012, 35 use apps, a mobile site, SMS banking and SMS alerts. The rest of the banks use a combination of the four mediums.

For instance, 21 banks use three mobile banking mediums and 15 use two mediums. Only 10 banks solely use one channel, showing how financial institutions are increasingly using multiple mobile mediums to interact with clients.

Banks with a hold on all four mediums include Chase, Bank of America, Citi and Capital One.

When looking at the raw data for 2012, 60 percent of financial institutions have SMS programs, 70 percent have app-based offerings and 71 percent offer a mobile Web site.

IPhone apps rank as the top device that financial institutions develop for. Sixty-nine percent of banks have an iPhone app, 59 percent offer an Android app and 36 percent have a BlackBerry app.

Apps developed specifically for tablets have been a bit slower to catch on but are also seeing growth. For example, 26 percent of financial institutions have developed an iPad app in 2012. In 2011, 17 percent offered an iPad app and only six percent had an iPad app in 2010.

Bank on mobile?
Not surprisingly, the biggest financial institutions tend to lead the industry with complex features. However, as smartphone and tablet penetration grows, smaller banks are catching up.

Per the report, many larger banks established a mobile footprint in 2007 while smaller banks did not get started until 2010.

The basic level of mobile includes mobile banking with SMS and mobile Web sites.

Next, features such as mobile remote deposit capture and person-to-person payments are added with smartphone and tablet apps. Per First Annapolis Consulting’s findings, 24 of the top 100 financial institutions offered remote deposit capture in 2012, which is a 200 percent increase from 2011 when only eight banks offered the service.

Incorporating rewards and offers to mobile banking solutions is the next phase, followed by developing a mobile wallet.

With companies including Google, PayPal and Apple increasingly moving into mobile payments with offers and marketing tools to direct consumers’ purchase options, financial institutions need to be prepared to do the same, per Mr. Grill.

“I think marketers need to realize that over time, banks are going to more directly entice consumers via mobile device and serve as marketing avenues for general consumer purchases,” Mr. Grill said.

“For banks that support their payment products, they need to think about how to leverage their customer relationships as distribution products,” he said.

“The largest banks over the next year will more aggressively expand to mobile wallets.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York