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Trends: Mobile Banking Gaining Traction

Wed Aug 5, 2009 - 11:25 AM EDT - By Annie Latham

Trends: Mobile Banking Kills Brick & Mortar Branches...

Last week, there were news reports stating that Bank of America (BoA) will be closing 10% of its 6,100 nationwide branches because consumers are handling their needs online and with mobile banking. In a follow-up story, InformationWeek's Bob Evans noted that BoA has more than 25 million online customers and about 2 million mobile-banking users. Those numbers aren't trivial.

CitiBank, for sure, has noted the move towards "on-the-go" banking. They just launched their offering for smartphones (Citi Mobile) which enables their customers to access and manage their bank accounts -- anytime and anywhere -- via their smartphone's mobile browser.

Smartphones mentioned in the announcement included "most BlackBerry smartphones, Palm devices and iPhone(TM) mobile devices." Peter Knitzer, the Group Executive Vice President for Citi stated, "With Citi Mobile now available for all smartphones, even more of our customers have access to fast, highly secure day-to-day banking whenever they need it."

The Citi Mobile offering will, no doubt, be matched by other banks:

-- View Citi account balances and account activity
-- Pay bills and set up recurring payments
-- Make transfers between Citi accounts
-- Locate Citi branches and ATMs
-- Connect to Customer Service

In another InformationWeek story, Marc Trudeau of comScore was quoted saying:

"The increasing adoption of smartphones and access to 3G networks, along with the rapid development of mobile apps, have created a fertile environment for the acceleration of mobile banking."

"A seamless mobile banking user experience is necessary for this behavior to take hold, and the convergence of (the) technologies is now making mobile phones a viable access point for personal banking transactions."

Anyway, the point is, mobile banking is here to stay. So the key for those of us wanting to tap into this capability from our Centro or Treo, is having an unlimited data plan (i.e. Sprint's Simply Everything $99.99 or Everything Data $69.99) so mobile banking doesn't drain your wallet : )

Have any of you tried mobile banking on a Palm OS device? How about a Treo Pro or other Windows Mobile-based Treo? If so, please let me know what you think of it.

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