Fiserv, Inc., a global provider of financial services and technology solutions, recently announced the results of a survey of the mobile banking and payment plans of top-tier financial institutions. The in-depth survey, conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Fiserv in September 2011, evaluated the plans of 10 banks and credit unions that in total hold more than a third of all U.S. deposit accounts.
The results revealed that these financial institutions are moving beyond the basics to deliver increasingly sophisticated mobile capabilities. Transactional services, such as remote deposit capture and mobile person-to-person payments, will account for the bulk of mobile investment in 2012. However, despite a nearly unanimous commitment to expand overall mobile functionality, institutions remain split on plans to support mobile point-of-sale payments.
Nine out of the 10 financial institutions surveyed already have a mobile bank offering that provides basic account access, and almost all provide ATM/branch locators, transfers between accounts and bill payment. For 2012, financial institutions plan to focus on delivering remote deposit capture, actionable alerts and additional payment capabilities. Eight of the 10 surveyed institutions plan to invest in some type of mobile payments in the next 12 months, with person-to-person mobile payments cited as a priority by seven respondents.
Financial institutions are committed to providing mobile banking and payment capabilities for a range of devices, with a focus on smartphones. While none of the surveyed institutions currently offer specialized support for tablets, this was cited as a priority for 2012 by multiple respondents.
Plans to provide support for mobile point-of-sale payments vary greatly, with two of the surveyed financial institutions currently piloting such offerings, three saying they planned to support them at some point and the remaining five saying they had no plans to support mobile point-of-sale payments in the foreseeable future.
While financial institutions view the progress of non-traditional competitors such as technology and telecommunications providers as a validation of mobile payments, and as a promotional tool to build consumer and merchant interest, the majority of the financial institutions surveyed stated that such announcements have had no or minimal impact on their own mobile payments strategy. This may put them at risk of delivering new capabilities too late.
"Most banks and credit unions are committed to delivering more robust capabilities and a better consumer experience via the mobile channel," said Erich Litch, division president, Digital Channels, Fiserv. "Faced with a rapidly evolving market that is also being pursued by sophisticated, well-funded third parties, it is essential that financial institutions that want to remain competitive push forward with their own mobile banking and payment strategies in 2012."