iPad has awakened mobile corporate banking world, IT vendor says

14 September 2011

The adoption of the iPad and other tablet devices by corporates is a key driver behind the increased take up of mobile banking applications, an IT vendor has said.

George Ravich, chief marketing officer (CMO) at Fundtech, a provider of mobile banking applications, said: “Although consumers have been using mobile technology for a while, in the last year, there has been an awakening on the corporate side.

“The launch of tablets has made it easier for corporates to mobile bank. Before that, bankers would question what they were capable of doing on a tiny phone screen.”

The flexibility afforded by mobile banking applications is one of the main reasons why businesses are keen to use them.

Simon Colley, product manager, mobile platform at Fundtech, said that small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) in particular are looking for the convenience provided by a mobile banking application.

“In SMEs a common theme is for a treasurer to have multiple roles within a firm - so quite often they aren’t at their desk at crucial moments in their business work flow when perhaps they need to action or authorise a particular part of their workflow,” he said.

“Our customers wanted visibility on the data in the back-end systems but they wanted this to be as real-time as possible so they could make decisions on the fly in terms of cash flow and bank activity.”

He continued: “But beyond just being able to view information in real time, they wanted to appraise this information, then take action on it. That might be approving a payment, initiating a payment, maybe authorising a permission level - these are the kind of trends we saw among our customers from the work we did with them.”

Previous research from Fundtech emphasised the growing importance of mobile banking applications to corporates with bankers suggesting it had the potential to become an “important competitive differentiator”.

The study showed that 54 per cent said that developing mobile corporate banking services is a top or very important priority.

A further 42 per cent said that customer interest in the area is either extremely or very high.

Fundtech’s four essentials for a mobile banking application

1. A mobile banking application must be able to integrate with a variety of major operating systems such as Apple, Android, BlackBerry and Windows - This mean it offers across the board services to all its users.
2. An application must work with the mobile networks - eg so will resolve issues such as what happens when a firm makes a payment and the line connection is lost.
3. An application must be secure. Previous research by Fundtech showed that security is the number one issue among corporates who are not yet using it.
4. An application needs to be connected to the back office - as it needs to be able to contact a bank, source the data and send messages.

By Jim Ottewill

Fundtech is participating at two sessions at Sibos 2011, which is taking place in Toronto next week.

e-invoicing - a fast evolving landscape
Tuesday 20 September 09:50 - 11:00 Community room 1

EIPP Unleashes Supply Chain Finance
Tuesday 20 September 16:15 - 16:45 Open theatre 1

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