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Though the Smartphone as we know it didn’t exist just 10 years ago, consumers now use the devices on a regular basis for an abundance of functions, including commerce and financial services.  About one fourth of mobile users say they have used mobile banking in the last year, according to a Federal Reserve study conducted last fall.

In addition to banks offering a mobile banking app, the next step is to meet changing consumer behaviors and demand.  Offering fraud prevention services and the ability to more fully manage accounts on the go are on the horizon to further engage mobile users.

The continued evolution of tablet banking is a fusion of desktop and Smartphone that people use for more complex tasks, which makes it ideal for offering more complex financial products, such as mortgage applications.

Functions such as opening accounts and applying for loans are ideal for the mobile channel, since the cameras on most mobile devices can capture images of paperwork and identification.  Offerings such as these are not necessarily about replacing branch visits, but rather optimizing each channel to its maximum capability.

Despite the opportunities, however, so far many banks have not utilized mobile to its fullest potential, says Steven Ramirez, CEO of customer experience and social media strategy firm Beyond the Arc.

Banks face a challenge, in that they’re competing not with other mobile banking experiences, but with the experiences consumers are used to getting from mobile-savvy retailers in other industries.

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