April 14, 2010
Mobile banking isn't just for large institutions anymore, a company representing community banks says.
Mobile applications for banks and customers of all sizes has long been hyped as a technology on the cusp of major growth. The newest survey from
Pacific Coast Bankers included responses from 687 community banks -- those smaller than $15 billion in assets -- and found that 27 percent already offer some form of mobile banking, from simple SMS alerts to full smartphone applications.
Community banks can react to technology trends more nimbly than their larger competitors, which effectively cancels out their smaller resources. Still, they must act quickly to avoid being left behind, PCB CEO Chris Nichols said. Also, technology vendors must start combining mobile banking software with CRM and person-to-person payment features, he said.
Of the respondents, 54 percent intend to design a smartphone application, 35 percent plan to upgrade existing products, 9 percent plan to switch to different vendors, and 4 percent are discontinuing the service.
Top mobile techology vendors for community banks are Fiserv, at 36 percent; Jack Henry & Associates (24), FIS/Metavanta (16), and ClairMail (10).
Community banks typically don't do much customization beyond ordinary branding, Nichols said, although his next survey occuring this summer will dive deeper into the technologies and development methods. PCB's conference next month will include a how-to session, he added.