Recognizing that younger consumers are not as tied to their personal computers because of smartphones, Conestoga Bank of Chester Springs, Pa., is integrating mobile banking directly to its core system.
“Our target demographic is mobile-savvy; in many cases their phone is their PC,” says Lori Adamski, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the $621 million-asset bank.
The bank is deploying mFoundry’s mobile banking and payments suite to offer a range of mobile financial services that will expand in time. The new suite will include three offerings–a smartphone app, a mobile Web service and an SMS/text banking service covering most mobile devices.
Other features will include a mobile deposit product that enables smartphone users to capture an image of a check and deposit the funds into their accounts directly.
As more consumers use mobile devices as a primary point of contact, the need will grow to enable them to have a digital connection to their bank other than a PC-based Web connection, the bank contends.
“The ease of downloading an app through the (Apple Inc.) App Store, installing it and using it immediately is a plus for us,” Adamski says. “It’s another way we’re helping our customers stay connected on the go.”
One of the benefits will be the ability for customers who aren’t online bankers to enroll in mobile banking directly from their smartphones. Some larger banks have offered mobile capabilities to non-Web customers for some time.
A tablet app is also in the works, and the bank is considering how functions such as bill pay are transferable to the tablets, Adamski says. The bank hopes the direct integration with its core processing will allow it to upgrade the menu of services and devices quickly because the function will be tied directly to the bank’s core platform.
“As people are more comfortable doing things on their own, our core system is scalable, and we’ll be able to add features quickly,” Adamski says.
Mobile-banking technology is a lively space in which execs frequently trade barbs, and mFoundry’s rival Clairmail was quick to respond to the Conestoga deployment.
Carl Tsukahara, Clairmail chief marketing officer and vice president of product, says any financial institution seeking to amplify user adoption past the confines of their online user base has to offer connectivity that can extend beyond core banking systems as well as enrollment and credentials independent of online banking.
“Clairmail’s distinctive Mobile Connectivity Architecture approach is designed to extend its mobile [service] beyond a single core system and instead provides the connectivity system for systems such as card processing, fraud management and other operational systems,” says Tsukahara. “This is imperative for realizing the enterprise value of mobile across multiple banking and payments use cases, as well as extend enrollment and adoption potential to users outside of the existing online banking customer base.”
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