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Hooked On Mobile

As a person who regularly travels back and forth from Connecticut to Austin, I have to admit that I really rely on the ability to connect to work and home via mobile on a variety of devices such as my iPhone or iPad. During presentations, I often talk about how we have truly become a mobile society and talk about how, for many, the mobile device (be it a smartphone or tablet) has become an extension of who we are. I joke that we could be 10, 20 or 30 miles, etc. from home and realize that we forgot our cellphone and immediately turn around and go back and get it.

Our mobile devices have even become the last things we put down at night and the first thing we pick up in the morning. That became even more apparent to me recently, when I had left the office to head to the airport with an associate and realized when we were almost at the airport that I had forgotten my iPhone on my desk. Since I was flying back to Connecticut, I sat there thinking how I would be able function without my iPhone until I returned to Austin next week. I thought about how much I rely on this simple device to check email, communicate and importantly do my banking as I travel. To say I was panic stricken would be an understatement. Luckily my associate was able to reach someone in the office who was kind enough to drive the phone the airport, and I was reunited it with. Imagine if you were in a similar situation, and I am sure you could relate.

In the Thursday, March 07, 2013, edition of USA Today there was an article on the topic of “Always Working” that discussed how mobile has become an integral part of our daily lives, be it work or personal. The article mentioned a Pew Research Center Study that cited that nearly two thirds of full time workers own smart phones, up from 48% two years ago, and one third own tablets, up from 12%.  I imagine that when you factor everyone else who own smart phones or tablets, we’d all agree we are hooked on mobile and our devices.
With more mobility comes more convenience, especially when it comes to banking, and with that comes even greater opportunity for banks and credit unions to better serve their markets. People are looking to convenient ways to connect with their financial institutions as evidenced by the following:

1. The ability to connect any time anywhere is appealing as demonstrated by all the articles and the ongoing list of statistics about the growth of mobile.

2. Like other ebanking transactions such as online transactions, mobile is cost effective and less expensive than traditional transactions done at a branch or via a call center.

3. Consumers, both retail and commercial, are demanding access to financial institutions via mobile or tablet devices for their banking needs. Study after study is confirming this type of demand.

4. The ability of financial institutions to connect to their customer via a multitude of channels deepens relationships and provides the additional opportunity to connect with consumers.

5. Adoption rates of mobile and mobile banking will only continue to rise as more and more of us realize the convenience. And it is not just a younger generation trend. Just walk into an Apple store and at the table you see groups of all ages learning how to use the iPhone and iPad and you’ll see my point.

6. Mobile has become top of mind for businesses and consumers, and this includes banks and credit unions looking to raise their service levels.

With all this in mind, it goes without saying that opportunity exists for banks and credit unions to extend their footprints and better serve the people like me who are simply hooked on mobile.

For the financial institutions out there, have you developed your strategy around mobile/tablet banking? Is your mobile strategy integrated into your overall ebanking offing?  If not the time is now. Opportunity is knocking.

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