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mobile banking

With the rising popularity of mobile banking — reaching 17 percent of U.S. consumers by the end of last year, a figure that’s grown 4X in the past five year — the research firm Forrester has developed a “Mobile Banking Functional Benchmark” to evaluate how banks approach the new wave of devices.

Forrester applied its new benchmark to the top four banks in the U.S. and found that Chase rose to the top, with a score of 74 out of 100 points. The big break for Chase was in the transactional functionality category, where it earned 26 points more than the average.

“The strong showing results from a wide array of mobile money movement options — transfer functionality, mobile bill pay, and the ability to add a payee, among others — as well as mobile remote deposit capture and other features like mobile P2P,” wrote Forrester’s Peter Wannemacher in a blog post this morning. Chase also scored 90 in the accessibility category.

Forrester says it applies 63 criteria in its mobile banking benchmark and scores them on a 100-point scale. The average score for the biggest four banks in the U.S. was 63. There’s still plenty of room for improvement according to the research firm, as only one bank offered product research and cross-selling through its iPhone app, and none of the banks did well in the mobile personal financial management category.

Banks definitely need to step up their mobile options — the rise of smartphones and tablets is moving much faster than the glacial pace of financial institutions. For example, I’m still waiting for Bank of America to offer mobile check scanning — which Chase, and many others, already offer. Meanwhile, BoA is still touting its envelope free checking deposit as actual innovation.

Mobile banking is a win-win for both banks and consumers, so there’s no excuse not to be more aggressive with rolling out mobile features. Consumers would be able to handle much of their financial errands without waiting in lines, and banks would have less foot traffic (and ultimately fewer irritated customers) to service.

Photo via Shutterstock

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