I stated in
my blogpost in October, 2008 : HTML (browser based) won the technology challenge for mobile banking. It seems to be true for the majority (65%) of the mobile banking users in the US, according to
eMarketer study, this February.
However we can see that the big phone manufacturers are just launching their copy of Apple AppStore: Blackberry App World, Nokia Ovi, Android Market, etc. This means easier distribution of any (banking) app to the mobile phones, and maybe wider coverage
if we think about the massive success of Apple AppStore.
And the apps have better opportunities than the browser based applications: the graphics and navigation are better because the download was done from the broadband PC, local databases can be set up, and the apps are just simply faster in changing screens.
On top of this they can easily access local resources like GPS (ATM+branch locations) and camera (bill+cheque automation).
The downside is simple: the apps technology is not standard at all. The phonemaker guys did not do their homework, so if you want to develop an iPhone or an Android or a Nokia app, it is totally different technology, so multiplied development cost.
Taking into consideration these, i think the apps have a clear future thanks to one simple thing: the custumer experience is better (faster, sexier, richer, ...), so people will eventually prefer to use apps.