Magazine article American Banker

VIEWPOINT: Tablet Devices in Banking's Future

Magazine article American Banker

VIEWPOINT: Tablet Devices in Banking's Future

Article excerpt

Byline: Geoff Knapp

Though the current impact of the iPad on financial services may be more incremental than monumental, financial institutions would be wise to keep it and similar touch-screen tablet devices on their radar.

Advances in connectivity, mobility and user interfaces embodied in these devices are creating possibilities for how financial products may be delivered, adopted and accessed - making touch-screen tablets part of a larger trend that is remaking financial services.

Early users gained access to the Internet intermittently through dial-up connections. Today, people are pervasively connected. Always-on connectivity lets people interact with services and store their data "in the cloud" rather than locally, facilitating remote management of our financial lives.

Because tablets offer uninterrupted Internet access, people can use them to bank pretty much anywhere. This ever-present connectivity, combined with screen size, touch capabilities and processing power, may eventually make the iPad the world's best mobile banking platform.

Though these attributes do position the iPad to become a banking game changer, it is consumers' evolving mind-sets that will determine the true impact of "touch banking." As with most technologies, changes in consumer behavior will be incremental. People who bank online will continue that behavior, and the iPad will initially be just another access option. For the most part, banking on the iPad will initially take place through the Web browser rather than through custom mobile applications.

Consumer perceptions of security are another important consideration.

If users think of tablet devices as being as secure as their personal computers, then they will use them for banking. If not, concerns will arise.

Tablets will be used by many as a "lean back" device, intended for consumption of information and entertainment. …

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