Local Banks Make Credit Card “Apps” a Priority
By Steven Gibbs
August 3, 2010
Since the beginning of the year we have seen many local banks push harder to compete with many of the national financial institutions and credit card issuers. While most attention was garnered by the outrage many cardholders had of the increasing of interest rates and changes of terms, some of the attention was given by consumers to find ways to keep money within their community. Since more people than in the past have started using their local bank’s plastic it is only reasonable that these financial institutions give them the same tools and resources via mobile device apps that their national competitors do. In fact many region and community banks have realized that more than 30 percent of smart phone users check their bank balances using mobile technology and a quarter of them regularly conduct credit card transactions via the devices, making this a priority as well as a way to keep and gain cardholders.
While national banks and issuers have already started on and released several applications to compete with this market, majority of local and regional banks have really not gotten into the space until now. Although many local banks did not see the necessity of creating apps, mobile technology is accelerating faster than many predicted and what is offered now by banks could be the difference of consumers choosing them or someone else. Some reports show that more than 60 million people in the United States have mobile devices such as smart phones, and predict that around 80 percent of Americans will be using them sometime within the next five years. In fact as we stand now, a recent study from a Dallas marketing firm showed that will number more than 1 billion worldwide by 2014.