A recently published article on BankTech.com asked, “Is 2014 the Year of Mobile Banking?” The article points out that over the course of 2012-2013 smartphone ownership jumped 25% and tablet ownership skyrocketed by 60%. When you pair those numbers with the “mobile remote dispute capture” feature that almost every banking institution (traditional and web based) has adopted, it’s no wonder more and more people are turning toward mobile banking in favor of even online banking.
We talked on this site recently about how my partner got tired of paying money every month to a traditional bank just to keep an account open. After doing some research, we found a web based bank that offered better rates and lower fees and switched to that and we haven’t been happier.
This makes me wonder: with so many strides being made in mobile banking, why aren’t more people adopting the technology? Why are there still so many traditional bank branches all over the place? In some cities you’ll see ATMs and branches of the same bank on every block!
For most people, mobile banking is seen merely as a way to check in on the banking that they do through traditional means. They use apps to check their balances while they are in line at a store or to make sure a check has cleared if they are away from their computers, but they still use traditional bank branches and ATMs for everything else.
This is largely because people are still using traditional banks over web based banks in spite of the better rates that are offered. People tend to pick a bank and stick with it, even if doing so is not in their best interest. If you take a few minutes to look around, like we did, you’ll find that there are all sorts of web based banking institutions (even credit cards like Discover Card have online banking options now) that offer you better rates and plans than your traditional bank.
The Bank’s App
This logic is reinforced by the mobile banking apps themselves. It has only been over the last year that traditional banks have started to adopt the mobile deposit capture for their apps. According to the article mentioned above, they’re still dragging their feet over even more advanced features like being able to pay a bill by taking a picture of it.
Web based mobile banking apps, like the Discover Bank mobile app, are better thought out and offer more functions than simply allowing the user to replace a quick automated phone call with a quick mobile login. The more you can do via the app, the less likely you are to want to stick with a website.
More importantly, experts predict that over the next couple of years, mobile banking apps are going to become advanced enough to allow you to do a whole bunch of things like opening new accounts and submitting applications for credit, loans and helping you set up investments.
The Security Factor
Regardless of whether you choose to stick with your traditional bank or switch over to a web based bank, one factor is universal in a person’s decision to make the leap over to mobile banking: security. If a bank can’t ensure that a user’s information will be protected and kept private why would someone take the risk of using it?