An App For That? Five Ways Banks Could Learn From Apple's iPad

The line for the iPad 2 at Apple’s White Plains, NY, store stretched around the third level of the mall. The line blocked restaurants, Anthropologie and Brooks Brothers stores. Security guards had to keep the escalator exits clear.

Meanwhile, the nation’s banks are getting attention by covertly raising fees charged to customers who use their automated teller machines: a whopping $5 in some cases.

There is a striking contrast between these two business models.

Comparing the retail experience of banking and consumer technology isn’t exactly Apples-to-apples. Yet it’s closer than you might think. Like the retail-gadget industry, banks often don’t have a clear advantage on rivals. Bells and whistles are short-lived, so much of the difference comes down to marketing and consumer perception.

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