FTF Takes on Retail Banking

We’re always thinking of new ways to grow at FTF and therefore we are in the midst of planning a new conference that will focus on retail banking and mobile technologies for May 22nd in NYC (agenda to be posted soon on www.ftfnews.com).  We are collaborating with Aite Group on this event, which we are very excited about, and therefore I’ve started some research in the space and came across a study by Aite Group themselves on how small business owners are starting to do their banking on the go.  As a small business ourselves, and one that likes to be up with the times on technology, this was an interesting piece for me.  I think people and businesses can get so stuck in their banking routine that it scares them a bit to change methods.  But it was encouraging to see that there is an upturn in the numbers of small business owners doing their checking, paying bills and depositing checks via smart phone apps.

I think what was most enticing from this report was the time that could be saved from mobile banking.  Now, this of course is a no brainer, being able to do banking on-the-go would save you time!  But after reading an article from the WSJ really showed some of the perks like being able to approve wire transfers and tagging your business purchases in real-time so you don’t have to go back and scour through your monthly reports.  For me, I think that would save tons of time.

As always, some are still uneasy about the security of mobile banking.  Unlike when you go to the bank and make a deposit through an ATM or at the teller, if you make a deposit online you can take a picture of the check and send it online, just like that.  But you don’t get a receipt with the online method, and that is where some people get nervous.  A majority of us still like to have that piece of paper that proves we had that money.   That’s why according to Aite’s report 42% of respondents don’t believe the mobile channel is secure enough for paying bills.  Obviously though, as with any change, it will take time to get the hang of things and trust the system.  Even with the few concerns around security and not receiving formal proof of transactions, what I see most from this report is the growing interest in mobile banking.  Aite estimated that by 2013, 50% of small businesses will be banking through mobile devices.  But now the question is, even though mobile banking works for small businesses how will this cross over into larger institutions?  I wonder if the big boys will switch to mobile banking for their minor transactions as well.  Is it even realistic to think that large companies can completely rely on mobile devices?  That’s what I’m out to discover now!  Hopefully this question and many more will be answered at our conference in May!

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