In an age where most people have cell phones and more Americans are getting smartphones every year, the percentage of mobile banking clients versus online banking users is continuing to shift. The flexibility and convenience of checking accounts, moving funds and making payments on the go has launched mobile utilities far ahead of their online cousins, since these services are very similar but provide different levels of service.

Usership up despite security concerns
The ongoing issue for consumers and corporate entities is figuring out which channels are most secure and how to put these into daily use. While many private customers can easily log in with their smartphones on a regular basis, some companies feel the intricacy of their ongoing business banking needs are more than what mobile deployments can handle, yet they still yearn to tap into this convenience.

Westpac, an international bank based in Australia, surveyed its customers and found that nearly 2 million of its clients are currently using the mobile banking option. That puts it well ahead of the firm's online utility, with projected usership escalating to more than 5 million by 2018.

"Our experience is that take-up of mobile banking is much faster than any previous technological innovation in banking," said Westpac's retail and business banking leader, Jason Yetton. He told the Sydney Morning Herald that the company expects to see a shift in overall mobile banking in the next 5 years that puts online banking resources into a secondary or obsolete position.

Convenience versus security
The Herald Sun wrote that banking is now predominantly handled outside the traditional branch setting. Financial firms now report the majority of their business is handled online or through mobile applications. While opening an account is still handled in person, maintenance of these accounts is largely taken care of using phone or computer options.

The 7th Annual Technology and Innovation Conference showed that banks are anticipating more digital usership from all their clientele, the Herald reported, signalling that financial institutions need to be prepared to meet these changing demands. While the most recent study of mobile banking use by the United States Federal Reserve Bank showed many consumers and corporations still had reservations, entities are overcoming these fears in exchange for flexibility and convenience.