executive vice president, SunGard’s wealth management business

Innovations in mobile banking

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According to research and advisory firm, Celent, approximately 18 million U.S. households are performing their banking functions using mobile phones with another 59 million households projected by 2014. It is no wonder that the banking industry considers mobile banking to be one of the hottest trends.  With banks and financial institutions expanding their global reach, this trend also has worldwide potential with a projected 150 million mobile banking subscribers before the end of 2011, according to the Mobile Marketing Association. In emerging markets, the mobile phone is already one of few opportunities for a majority of the population to access financial services.   Financial services executives are acknowledging that it is no longer only about the services they can provide, but also how and where those services are accessible in order to remain competitive and viable.

Large banks already provide basic banking transactions through mobile technology, such as account alerts, account balances, updates and history, bill pay services and funds transfers.   Peer to peer payments, universal account access and real-time alerts are among the required capabilities for the next generation of mobile banking services.

Younger, tech-savvy consumers are also looking for more advanced banking capabilities via their iPhones, such as the ability to take a picture of their checks and have them automatically deposited, or to have a balance alert appear on their phone before a major purchase occurs.  Full service offerings are available now that combine banking services with common consumer activities, such as car purchases.  For instance, a potential buyer can take a picture of the new car’s vehicle identification number with an iPhone.  The applicable loan rates, insurance rates and any special pre-negotiated rates on that car are returned to the iPhone, allowing the consumer to expedite the buying decision.

Amidst growing customer expectations and competition among providers of mobile applications, banking executives are asking how to quickly capitalize on the mobile distribution channel and how to accelerate moving new applications to market.

What mobile banking services is your organization offering or considering offering, and what additional services are important to your customers?   Also, what are your biggest challenges to introducing new mobile services to your customers?

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