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Texas banks launch mobile banking offering with First Data

The service can be easily integrated into banks’ current online platforms, and provides an alternative to creating the mobile banking system in-house. It includes SMS, mobile Web and downloadable applications.

“We helped these banks overcome the initial technological hurdle of implementing a robust mobile banking offering that accommodates all the ways consumers are using their mobile phones to access their accounts,” said Dom Morea, division manager of mobile commerce solutions at First Data.

“For many banks, developing a solution in-house—and keeping it up-to-date—would be cost-prohibitive, yet it’s something that many feel they must do to keep pace with their markets,” he said.

First Data Corporation provides electronic payment and commerce services. Since launching mBanking at the start of 2011, the company has signed 60 financial institutions.

All access, all the time
While clients of larger financial institutions such as Bank of America and Chase Bank are no strangers to checking balances on their smartphones, smaller banks have yet to catch up in terms of mobile access. American Bank of Texas and Waggoner National Bank implemented the mobile banking services in response to customers’ requests.

“Our customers were asking for mobile services, and we knew we needed to meet that market demand with a robust mobile solution that had the capabilities they were seeing at larger institutions,” said Mark Few, executive vice president of American Bank of Texas, Marble Falls, Texas.

Mobile banking is beneficial to cut costs, generate revenue, engage customers, and most importantly as a customer service tool.

“The number one reason consumers call the bank’s branch is to request balance and general account information,” Mr. Few said. “We hope to greatly reduce the number of these calls by providing fast and easy access to this information via mobile banking.

“This is another way to delight the customer while shifting customer support to a lower-cost channel,” he said.

Upon shopping for a new bank, customers are increasingly taking mobile accessibility into consideration.

“American Bank will get a larger share of new accounts in the market because of offering this new, convenient and easy-to-use service,” Mr. Few said.

Mobile banking trifecta
A key part of First Data’s strategy is to ensure banking customers can access their information in more ways than one through mBanking.

“The solution enables their users to access their bank account information using SMS (text messaging), a mobile browser, or a downloadable application,” Mr. Morea said. “They can find out their balance, view account/transaction history, transfer between accounts and find ATMs and branch locations.”

Every function that is available through the banks’ online Web sites can now be done via mobile, maintaining the same login information.

“We expect that this will increase the consumer’s comfort level, increasing chances of adoption and usage,” Mr. Few said.