Retail banks increasing mobile investment

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Responding to consumers’ growing interest in banking from their mobile devices, retail banks plan to invest more money to enhance their mobile offerings, according to the first-ever survey of Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) members conducted by Forrester Research in collaboration with CBA’s Emerging Channels Committee.

CBA members reported they will spend one-third of their total digital budget on the mobile channel this year. The joint research project surveyed digital executives at 19 leading US and Canadian banks.

According to Forrester’s Consumer Technographics data, 17% of US online adults are active mobile bankers, and new mobile features are gaining popularity with 22% of US online adults interested in mobile payments.

The Forrester/CBA survey showed that banks’ mobile spending will focus on three key functions: alerts, remote deposits, and person-to-person payments. While these executives believe digital wallet initiatives show great strategic promise and are therefore watching them closely, most are taking a wait-and-see approach with their 2012 investments.

“Payments are by far one of the biggest opportunities in the space for both online and mobile as the growth of person-to-person and mobile wallets continues,” says Brad Strothkamp, Forrester Research vice president and principal analyst serving eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals. “As these initiatives move forward, digital teams will need to drive innovation not only internally but also in the vendor space, especially in areas like digital wallets and revenue-generating payment products.”

“CBA and our Emerging Channels Committee members are at the forefront of mobile banking developments, as part of our ongoing commitment to meeting the needs of our customers,” continues Richard Hunt, CBA president. “These findings illustrate how vital the mobile space has become and how innovation is driving the retail banking industry.”