Financial institutions face “an urgent call to action” according to a new white paper from Fiserv. Spurring the urgency is the proliferation of smartphones and the entrance of nontraditional competitors, according to “Mobile Moving Forward in 2012: Insights From Top-Tier Financial Institutions.”
The good news is consumers trust their banks and credit unions more than any other entities for mobile transactions, including PayPal and the major credit card companies, according to Fiserv.
“Because consumers trust their financial institutions to provide secure financial transactions, consumers will look first to their financial institutions for mobile payments,” notes the white paper. “Financial institutions are in a position now to put the advantages they have to good use and give consumers what they’re demanding—mobile banking services that enable transactions, particularly mobile payments.”
The white paper reports on a survey conducted for Fiserv by Forrester Consulting. It evaluates the plans of 10 banks and credit unions that collectively hold more than one-third of all U.S. deposit accounts.
The report covers nine specific areas relating to mobile banking developments during the next year:
1. Mobile banking is rapidly maturing. Nine out of 10 of the financial institutions surveyed have a mobile banking offering that provides basic account access, and almost all provide ATM/branch locators, transfers between accounts, and bill payment. While remote deposit capture is gaining ground, none of the respondents offer remote payments or mobile securities trading.
2. Mobile services now focus mainly on retail banking customers. While 90% of the respondents offer mobile banking to their retail customers and credit card account holders, only 70% offer mobile services to small businesses. Support for the Android operating system, iPhones, and tablets are top priorities.
3. Financial institutions plan to offer more robust functionality. Some of the planned additions to mobile banking offerings in the coming months include mobile deposit capture, person-to-person (P2P) payments, two-way text alerts (which allow users to respond in real-time), personal financial management, and picture bill payment.
4. Mobile payments take mobile banking beyond the basics. Most survey respondents plan to invest in mobile payments in the next 12 months. Respondents identify P2P mobile payments as the biggest mobile payments priority for 2012.
5. Point-of-sale (POS) payments are poised for mainstream adoption. While mobile POS payments have grabbed the headlines, respondents say merchant acceptance is now the primary roadblock to wide proliferation of the technology. They also say technology limitations are no longer a deterrent to financial institution investment in mobile POS payments.
Next: Meeting consumer needs