Here, there and everywhere…more banks promote mobile banking

August 30, 2009

Fancy checking your savings account balance on the beach or paying a bill from a park bench? Today’s banks bet you do.
Mintel Comperemedia, a service that provides direct marketing competitive intelligence, reports that mobile banking promotion is on the rise in direct marketing. In the first half of 2009, the phrase “mobile banking” appeared in banking direct mail offers more than twice as often as in the first half of 2008. Significantly more email offers also now mention “mobile banking”, according to Mintel Comperemedia’s analysis of email advertising from banks.
Financial institutions ranging from USAA, Bank of America and Wells Fargo to local credit unions all promote mobile banking in direct marketing. By utilizing the traditional direct media format, banks demonstrate their commitment to making mobile banking work.
“Mobile banking isn’t new, but it’s getting a huge push from the popularity of the iPhone and BlackBerry. As more consumers adopt smart phones and adapt to truly on-the-go lifestyles, they’re seeking banking applications and technology that keeps up with them,” states Susan Wolfe, VP of financial services at Mintel Comperemedia.
Already this year, Mintel Comperemedia has tracked emails promoting iPhone Apps from banks like Wells Fargo. Other leading institutions continue to create new mobile applications, like USAA allowing customers to deposit checks by phone or Citibank’s “Obopay” letting people send money via text messages.
Susan Wolfe concedes mobile banking still faces challenges, including security perceptions, but she believes banks will soon reassure customers that banking through their phones is secure. “Online banking was intimidating to customers early on too,” she says, “but once banks could guarantee security, customers flocked online for flexibility and convenience. I expect the transition into mobile banking will happen in a similar way.”

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