Javelin Strategy and Research released their 2012 Tablet and Banking Report in which they explore and assess the rapidly growing tablet banking market. While the report did determine that most large financial institutions have iPad (and Android) apps, the results indicated that Bank of America, Citi and USAA could be seen as true market leaders.
These three financial institutions each approached mobile banking from a different perspective with Bank of America arguably leading the pack by making sure to optimize their apps for tablet use and went as far as rolling out native apps for the iPad, Kindle Fire and Android platforms independently instead of porting an existing smartphone app. Citibank chose to embrace the Kindle Fire by designing an app that effectively provides “effective and intuitive personal financial management tools that appeal to tablet consumers in ‘layback mode’ to help them better analyze their account spending and set goals and budgets.” USAA by comparison has the top-ranked tablet banking app and enjoys the highest consumer rating scores within Apple’s App Store.
The most interesting conclusion may be that Javelin recommends financial institutions focus first on optomizing their mobile sites for use on tablets before designing native apps –drawing the conclusion that most users would prefer to use this method of accessing their bank accounts. Mary Monahan, EVP and Research Director, Mobile at Javelin goes on to say that: “Only then should [financial institutions] deliver an enhanced experience and deepen customer relationships with downloadable apps. Our report provides a risk/reward framework so [financial institutions] can identify cost-effective solutions for optimization across platforms and allocate resources accordingly.”
The report also advises that financial institutions need to consider which tablet strategy and platform will deliver the best return on their investment and suggests that the market evolves quickly and they may want to consider future-proofing (to the best of their ability) whatever solution they decide to move ahead with.
The report also indicated that Apple holds the top market share (55%) for users accessing their financial institution with a tablet. They also communicated that tablet owners using this functionality are primary young (25-44) and wealthy (incomes exceed $100,000 and have more investable assets).