The demand for corporate and small business mobile banking services has yet to reach its tipping point, but it’s getting there, as solutions are coming online fast. According to a recent report from Aite Group, there is high demand for corporate mobile banking services among treasurers. Of the 300 treasury executives worldwide who were polled for the report, approximately two-thirds said they’d likely use mobile corporate banking services to perform basic transactions, such as checking balances or transferring funds.
Mobile banking technology has primarily been offered to the consumer and retail channels, leaving a large, untapped opportunity for banks. Corporate mobile banking, particularly for small businesses operating in today’s economic climate, will mature this year as a tool for retaining customers and boosting sales.
To date, there’s been a lack of corporate banking features that allow businesses to review and approve payments remotely. Mobile will give treasurers and cash managers access to real-time information in their corporate environment.
Business often goes on hold due to logistics. For example, wire approvals over a certain limit may need to get the nod from executives, who can delay important transactions if they’re not in the office. And let’s not forget with these recent cold snaps and work travel disruption, no one wants to hear payroll can’t be processed because the treasury manager could not get to the office. As workers become accustomed to accessing information and other services remotely, banks simply must mobilize corporate banking services to support the mobile enterprise.
These services not only provide corporate customers with additional convenience and flexibility, but they also provide banks the opportunity to improve customer relationships and generate additional revenue.
In November 2010, Sybase 365 was the first vendor to offer a corporate mobile banking application with the announcement of its partnership with Citizens Financial Group. The solution, available for Citizens treasury management customers using iPhone, RIM and Android devices, is called accessMOBILE. It allows users to approve or release scheduled payments, transfer funds to different accounts, receive alerts about pending transactions and view account balances and recent transactions. Citizens’s new service underscores Aite’s recent research showing heightened demand for mobile banking services among corporate clients. Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of America Corp. have also recently added mobile features for treasury clients.
This year is shaping up to be the year of mobility. Connected devices are finding their way into every aspect of our personal lives, including shopping, paying and banking. Consistent with the historic trend of consumer innovations infiltrating corporate life, it’s only a matter of time before businesses latch on to this trend. That means first-movers have the advantage. When will you mobilize your business?