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PeoplesBank enters mobile banking to satisfy on-the-go customers

Online Resources Corp. built the application for PeoplesBank. The Massachusetts-based $1.5 billion asset bank is now one of fewer than 50 United States financial institutions that currently offer the iPhone application through the App Store and iTunes.

“In general, the strategy is to extend the reach of online banking and payment services via mobile devices, providing yet another means for consumers to conveniently access banking services,” said Ron Bergamesca, executive vice president and general manager of community bank and credit union services at Online Resources, Chantilly, VA.

“But more specifically, we optimized the consumer experience for the iPhone to leverage its unique functionality and popularity, particularly within certain segments,” he said.

Online Resources specializes in powering financial interactions between millions of consumers and the company’s financial institution and biller clients, including 12 of the top 13 U.S. retail banks and 13 of the top 20 U.S. card issuers.

Backed by its payments gateway that links banks directly with billers, the company provides Web and phone-based financial services, electronic payments and marketing services to drive consumer adoption.

Online Resources makes mobile services available through a partnership with Access Softek, a global developer of technology software.

PeoplesBank’s customers now have an iPhone application that optimizes their mobile banking experience. Online Resources provides the necessary technology, operation and marketing support required for this service.

PeoplesBank has used Online Resources’ full suite of retail and business Internet banking and bill payment services since 1999.

An extension of these online services, the new iPhone application allows users to view account balances, transaction history, schedule same day transfers, pay bills, and send and receive secure in-session messages.

PeoplesBank customers simply register online for mobile access and download the iPhone application, which also works on iPad and iPod touch devices.

The mobile channel has become a very important aspect of mobile banking and PeoplesBank recognizes that.

With the rapid improvement of mobile devices’ usability and the industry’s focus on developing applications tailored to mobile devices, it has become apparent that certain online banking functions are better suited for a mobile environment. 

For example, consumers can check balances while at the point of sale or receive an alert and make a last-minute bill payment, without the confines of being connected via the home or office.  

Consumers recognize these conveniences and are migrating certain online activities to their mobile device, and leaving more time-intensive activities, such as budgeting, to be done at home.

Further, like online banking and payments, mobile access provides yet another venue for banks to deepen relationships with their customers.

Mobile banking is growing fast for three reasons.

“The first is the improvement in Internet-based usability of mobile devices, especially for smartphones,” Mr. Bergamesca said. “Second is the fact that applications optimized for mobile devices are improving the consumer experience and last is that certain online banking features lend themselves to mobile, such as balances and alerts.”