The Banking Industry is Going Mobile
Mobile phone technology is growing at an incredibly rapid pace. Just compare your cell phone to the one you had a decade ago. Remember when having a camera in your phone was a big deal? Now high speed, touch screen, all-purpose mobile devices are the standard. They’re not even referred to as “phones” anymore; they’re called “devices.” Nostalgic rambling aside, this new technology is great! Imagine having everything you need on one easily accessible device. That’s the direction we’re headed. Many businesses are desperately trying to ride this technology wave into the future. For the bank industry, mobile banking is the future.
ATMs are becoming less relevant. Many banks now offer remote deposit options for depositing checks with a smartphone. All you have to do is take a picture of the front and back of a check and transmit the images to a bank. Boom. Done. Withdrawing money from an ATM is also becoming less common. Only about 2-3% of the US money supply exists as physical currency. The rest of it is just numbers on a screen. As a result, most monetary transactions occur in cyberspace. For most purchases, people tend to pay by credit (usually to build up their credit history). Today, having a good credit score is more important than ever. Most people don’t carry more than $50 in cash at any time.
In addition, mobile banking technology has made it possible to make point-of-sale purchases with your mobile device. Companies like Square, Google, Microsoft, Intuit, PayPal, and Venmo are trying to make your wallet obsolete. In 2012 Square made a deal with Starbucks to put scanners in 7,000 Starbucks locations. These scanners send your information companies like Visa and MasterCard, which process all of your debit and credit payments. All you have to do it press your phone up to the scanner and you’re good to go. In the near future, phone-purchasing options like this will be available throughout the retail industry.
According to branding consultant Sean McDonald: “Mobile banking, remote deposit capture, and all the technology associated with these things will continue to be the fastest-growing trend in our industry.” Today, mobile banking offers many more services. Some of these services include: mini-statements of account history, access to card statements, insurance policy management, ordering check books, blocking lost or stolen cards managing PIN information, micro-payment handling, bill payment, fund transfers, withdrawal and deposit at banking agent, purchasing tickets for travel and entertainment, portfolio management, real-time stock quotes, and special loyalty offers. Many banks are realizing the need to offer competing mobile services. Marketing expert Drew McLelland put it best: “If mobile banking wasn’t your [banks] priority in 2012, it better be in 2013. This isn’t optional for financial institutions that want to be in business in 2020. It’s really that simple.”
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