Most Top Banks Have an App for That

The era of being afraid to bank on mobile phones seems over–at least from the banks’ point of view.

A report conducted by Corporate Insight found that all but one of the banks it tracks offer account holders at least one mobile solution, if not multiple options, including apps, mobile sites and text messaging.

The report named Chase as the most advanced, followed by Bank of America and Wells Fargo.

The adoption of smartphones by consumers, plus the threat of not keeping up with the competition, has led banks to roll out new features quickly, the report said.

The most common feature provided was the ability to locate nearby ATMs or branches, while more advanced features included being able to pay bills, receive balance information and transfer money in-house, the report found.

Chase was highlighted as the most advanced because of its “remote deposit capture” feature, which allows you to deposit a check by taking a picture of it.

That feature is frequently provided by a San Diego-based company, Mitek Systems, which said this month that at least 10 well-known financial institutions, including three of the top 10 retail banks, have deployed its picture-taking services.

PayPal and USAA are also customers, and in the first three days the USAA app was available, $1.5 million in deposits were made using the phone’s camera.

Other findings from the study:

  • 40 percent of banks offer text messaging as a way to get account balance information.
  • 83 percent offer mobile applications for bill paying.
  • U.S. Bank and Chase are the only two firms to offer rewards information through mobile banking.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work