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The Best iPad Banking Apps

Although financial institutions have begun creating applications for Android-based tablets, the majority of tablet-specific banking offerings on the market today are designed for Apple's iPad. Here's a look at some of the best iPad banking apps.

Citibank: A New Way To View Finances

New York-based Citibank's iPad app, which came out in July 2011, takes advantage of the tablet's form factor by doing away with the traditional financial ledger and presenting customers with rich, interactive graphical representations of their finances.

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As banks race to roll out mobile apps for iPads, Kindle Fires and other tablets, they need to do more than just port over their existing smartphone apps. Industry leaders reveal what goes into creating an engaging and rich tablet-specific experience.
The app's home screen offers a three-panel view: The "overview" panel presents a look at all accounts; the "analyze" section provides access to personal finance management tools, such as pie charts showing payee spending by category; and the "explore" panel lets customers compare their spending habits to those of other customers and also offers access to finance-related content. The app also provides direct access to Citi's real-time Twitter customer support option.

JPMorgan Chase: A Content-Rich Experience

The J.P. Morgan Private Banking App, for JPMorgan Chase's high-net-worth customers, is packed with information, including videos from financial strategists and specialists, financial news, real-time market quotes, and content from analyst reports. Ravi Acharya, SVP and head of product management for online, mobile and social at Chase, the New York-based company's retail banking brand, says the bank strives to make all of its tablet apps as content-rich as possible, in order to take advantage of tablets' functionality. The private banking app also features current day gain/loss information and incorporates the bank's QuickPay person-to-person payments service as well as mobile remote deposit capture capability. The app also lets users pay bills, send wire transfers, pay credit card bills, and locate nearby Chase branches and ATMs.

USAA: Reading is Fundamental

USAA allows its members to access the institution's entire portfolio of offerings, including banking, investment services and several insurance products, through one app. The products are displayed as books sitting on shelves waiting to be opened with the swipe of a finger. On the banking side, the San Antonio, Texas-based financial firm has redesigned its online banking functions — such as opening accounts, paying bills and transferring funds — for a more interactive, swipe-and-tap experience on the iPad. The app also delivers free financial advice in the form of articles and videos that are customized for the device. One of the app's most unique offerings is the ability to deposit checks through remote deposit capture for camera-equipped versions of the iPad.

Huntington: Wherever You Go, There You Are

Columbus, Ohio-based Huntingtonreleased its iPad app in November 2011. According to Jeff Dennes, Huntington's online and mobile services director, the bank wanted to take advantage of the unique opportunities of the tablet and produce a mobile experience optimized for that device. He also says Huntington was the first bank of its size to release an iPad-specific app. The app, developed using a Kony Solutions (Orlando, Fla.) platform, features integration with Google Maps for finding ATM and branch locations. It uses the iPad's GPS to help guide customers to locations. Customers who already are using online banking also can pay bills and transfer funds from their iPads.

[For tips on How to Create Great Tablet Apps, see Olivia LaBarre's related story.]

Bank of America: Daily Planner

Bank of America's iPad app for consumers and small businesses is customized and optimized specifically for the tablet, according to the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank. In addition to basic banking functions such as account transfers and bill payment, Bank of America's iPad app features a ledger layout for easy access to account details. One unique feature of BofA's iPad app is its calendar system, which allows users to see dates when bills are due (or have been paid) and schedule payments and transfers by tapping on a future date. The app also features a locator function to find nearby branches and ATMs based on the user's current location using the iPad's GPS system. From a security perspective, the Bank of America iPad app utilizes the same SafePass system that is used for its online banking platform.

BB&T: Continuing Education

BB&T's iPad app, which launched in January 2011, offers a wealth of financial education resources, as well as information about the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based bank, to existing and potential clients. It also provides the ability to open new accounts. Beyond offering tablet-optimized online banking functions such as checking balances, transferring funds, paying bills and signing up for alerts, the app offers an extensive library of financial articles for reading on the iPad and includes interactive financial planning calculators. It also uses GPS technology to help customers find BB&T financial centers or ATMs.

Intuit Financial Services: A Formidable Rival or Partner

In February, Intuit Financial Services released an out-of-the-box app for the iPad that could rival some of the top bank tablet offerings. The app is geared toward smaller banks and credit unions, according to the Mountain View, Calif.-based company, which says it takes about four weeks for an institution to roll out the solution. The app is similar to Intuit's mobile banking offering for iPhones in terms of functionality, but it takes advantage of the iPad's large screen by offering more robust graphics and interactivity. Intuit emphasizes its intention to make the app fun, quick and animated in order to give customers the type of engagement they've come to expect from an iPad app. Customers can perform a number of tasks with a series of taps and slides of the finger, including viewing account balances and transaction history, transferring funds, paying bills, locating ATMs, and more. The app is customized with an institution's specific colors and logo, and institutions will be able to add special features as Intuit rolls them out.

[For tips on How to Create Great Tablet Apps, see Olivia LaBarre's related story.]

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