Personal Finance

Will Mobile Technology Help Banks in the Long Run?

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In recent years, the rate at which consumers adopted rapidly-advancing mobile technologies is considerable, and many companies are trying to get in on the ground floor in an effort to engender more use of their products.

Banking is no exception to this rule, as many financial institutions – both large and small – are now trying to create more mobile options for their account-holders and other customers in an effort to better connect with them, according to a report from American Banker. However, within the industry itself there is considerable debate about the practicality of these efforts, and what results they might yield down the road.

For one thing, the cost of all these financial institutions setting up intricate mobile banking infrastructures, whether it’s through apps or browser-based platforms, the report said. Further, there’s not much evidence that the banks that were considered “early adopters” of this technology have benefited any more or less substantially than those that were later to the party.

Experts believe the problem with scrambling to adopt this technology is that in general, the rapidity with which technology now advances might make their efforts to catch up to today’s standards – often after years of inaction – will be fruitless, the report said. Pouring man-hours and significant amounts of money into these programs, therefore, could be a waste of efforts if there’s a major technological advance in the next few years, which seems likely.

Further, just because consumers are adopting this technology at rapid rates doesn’t mean they’re doing the same for mobile banking, the report said. If anything, the rate at which consumers move from online and in-person banking to the mobile variety has been frustratingly slow for many institutions. However, it should be noted that this was also the case in the early days of online banking as well – many consumers had fears about the security of this method, which is also common for mobile banking.

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However, many analysts believe that consumers will be more willing to adopt all sorts of mobile technology – like near-field communications methods that allow shoppers to make purchases using their smartphones – and that widespread use of these options will come within the next few years at the latest.

Image: Tax Credits, via Flickr

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