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Mobile : Banks That Dare: Will their guts come before glory

At least one bank is ending 2011 on a high note. In December, Chase swept the honors in two mobile banking awards. Javelin Strategy and Research ranked their solution “Best in Class” above those of 24 retail banking heavyweights; Key Lime Interactive adjudged Chase’s mobile banking website and app the best among the top 4 U.S. banks.

We’re entering an era of new commerce in which mobility will not only be a force to reckon with, but will actually determine the fate of financial institutions.  However, only a few banks seem to be on the ball, with most others sitting on the fence or watching from the sidelines.

Since it’s the season for countdowns, here’s one for mobile banking. This post is about the banks that dared in 2011.

Let’s start with Chase. They’ve taken the product innovation route to success, adding stellar features such as remote check deposit and person-to-person payments to their mobile banking offering.   And they’re going everywhere with it, right from the iPhone/ iPad and Android platforms to the Amazon App Store.

Up north, Norwegian Banks will be the first to roll out new mobile banking technology that is possibly a few years ahead of its time. The solution – which ignores the current trend of native apps in favor of an HTML5 based-web application – is said to be so user friendly that it virtually eliminates data entry in payment or fund transfer transactions to make them three times as fast as they are now.

Closer to home, BNP Paribas and Orange have made some noise with their new “entirely mobile” banking service. It’s a comprehensive offering, which includes mobile banking of course, but also an m-payment facility, a choice of the newest smartphones and mobile subscriptions, and even an application to receive news feeds.

Will these moves pay off? Only time will tell. But although there are no certainties in the world of new commerce, one thing’s for sure, he who does not dare does not win.

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