The wide-scale consumer adoption of smartphones has pushed large retail banks to develop phone applications and mobile-formatted websites to help customers manage their accounts: a report released today by Corporate Insight found that all but one of the 16 large banks tracked by its Bank Monitor report offer mobile banking solutions to account holders through at least one delivery option, with many offering and promoting multiple options to clients and prospects.
iPhone is the favorite among large banks -- all 12 of the banks that offer mobile apps offer an iPhone app; nine offer an Android app and eight offer a BlackBerry app. While many firms offer similar capabilities through their mobile applications and websites -- including internal transfers, balance updates and recent transaction information -- the report names Chase as the top-performing firm in terms of services offered, including its innovative remote deposit capture feature. The mobile banking features and options from Bank of America and Wells Fargo also received high marks for providing customers with access to detailed account information and transactional capabilities on the go.
"Mobile banking has been a heavily promoted focal point for banks in recent years, with many firms now augmenting their mobile sites with device-specific apps for the iPhone, Android and/or Blackberry operating systems," said Doug Miller, senior analyst for banking and credit card firms at Corporate Insight. "Thanks to the spread of smartphones, and banks' efforts to keep pace with the tech offerings of their rivals, most banking customers can now pay their bills, receive balance information and transfer money from anywhere via a smartphone. We expect banks to continue to refine their mobile offerings, providing customers with increasingly robust and user-friendly capabilities."
Standard mobile banking features currently include the ability to check account balances, view recent transactions and conduct in-house fund transfers, though several firms include the ability to execute external transfers as well. All but one of the firms monitored by Corporate Insight enable clients to locate nearby ATMs or branches while on the go. Forty percent offer SMS (short message service, also known as "texting") banking as a supplementary way for clients to access their current account balance information; 83% of firms that offer banking through mobile applications also offer bill pay functionality via these apps.
U.S. Bank and Chase are the only two firms that offer rewards information through mobile banking.