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Banking via your BlackBerry: Is it a fad or the future?

by on
in Office Technology

After a decade of hype, banking via cell phones and other hand-held devices will become more mainstream in the coming years.
Driving the trend:
Generation Y users. But running a close second are small businesses and home-based businesses, which also are expected to jump on the bandwagon in big numbers.
Online banking made it possible to check balances and pay bills with a few mouse clicks. Now, mobility has risen to the next level as banks and financial software providers are rolling out technology that enables such transactions from hand-held devices, such as cell phones, PDAs (personal digital assistants) and BlackBerrys.
Forecasts predict 35% of the online-banking households will use mobile banking by 2010. That’s up from less than 1% today, according to a study by consulting firm Celent LLC.
A few financial institutions dipped their toes into the “m-banking” market earlier this year, but more serious applications will debut in late 2008.
Early to the game:
Institutions such as Bank of America, Citibank, BancorpSouth and Wells Fargo, either have a mobile banking service or are planning one.
Citibank’s “Citi Mobile,” for example, launched in California this spring and is rapidly pushing national expansion. In September, Wells Fargo launched a new addition to its “Wells Fargo Mobile” for small businesses, which gives small business owners universal access to its business and personal financial information.
Is America ready? Nearly half (49%) of the 2,200 people surveyed by Javelin Strategy, a financial industry research firm, say they perceive mobile banking as lacking security. Yet, Javelin says mobile banking actually offers some security advantages compared to online banking.
Bottom line:
Companies that deliver on lock-tight security, proprietary software and reasonable policies will lead the way—and could be your best bet in this new market.

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