Watch Out for These Changes at Your Bank

Consumers will have increased mobile access to information

For all of the changes to the banking industry following the economic collapse in 2009, there are more such developments on the horizon — especially as it concerns accessing financial information on the go.

One of the biggest trends that banks are adapting to is the amount of users that rely on online banking. Financial institutions are realizing that the generation of early adopters has turned into widespread users of mobile apps. As technology changes, customers are paying attention to how their banks are keeping up.

As a result, consumers — once used to walking into a local branch — will begin to see a decline of brick and mortar institutions.

“Branch transactions are going down. Mobile and online transactions are going up. The comfort level that people have with not having to deal with their bank face to face is clear,” said Jim Marous, senior vice president of corporate development at New Control, a digital direct marketing agency serving financial institutions, told Bankrate.com.

The high volume of online transactions does not necessarily mean that mobile wallets are going to take off in the way that some people may have thought. Google Wallet and Isis provide the same functions as debit cards and therefore don’t offer much incentive for customers’ use in the place of cold, hard plastic. But the phone may take the place of debit cards, especially at the ATM.

Customers can look forward to withdrawing cash from the ATM without having to stick the card in the hole. Banks are working diligently to roll all banking functions into one handy application that allows customers to handle all their needs with one touch (or swipe depending on your mobile device) of a button.

Despite the increased convenience to customers, there is a segment of the population that is wary of banks and use prepaid card services instead of depositing money into financial institutions. And these cards, serve as an alternative to bank accounts by providing plastic that is reloadable to consumers.

“Big banks that underestimate the appeal of prepaid cards do so at their peril,” Marous said.

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