Corporate Insight, a financial services research firm, released a report on Wednesday detailing trends in mobile finance, naming Vanguard and TIAA-CREF as the leaders among asset managers in the mobile space.
Vanguard is one of the few asset management firms to offer mobile capabilities, providing clients with the ability to trade mutual funds, access account information and research investments. Furthermore, Vanguard offers a specialized website for mobile users and an app for use on iPad and iPhone.
TIAA-CREF was also recognized as a leader in the mobile finance space for offering access to client accounts, funds and commentary on mobile devices. It also offers an app that provides educational tools and calculators.
May 2011 was the most active month for mobile technology launches, the report found, with smartphone apps from Ameriprise and Charles Schwab, and iPad-specific apps from Bank of America and Chase. PNC Bank, Charles Schwab and Fidelity also offered mobile check deposit capabilities.
“Leading up to our publication, there was a lot of activity [in the mobile technology space], and it will continue in the near future,” Dan Wiegand, (left), senior analyst at Corporate Insight and author of the report, told AdvisorOne.
While almost one-quarter of respondents agreed that it’s too early to tell what impact mobile technology will have on their business, over two-thirds agreed that so far the response has been at least somewhat positive. Seventy percent of respondents said that their firm should “definitely” provide mobile tools, while 80% said it was very important to their customer service strategy to provide such tools.
“The benefits offered by a strong mobile platform are clear,” Wiegand said in a statement. “By embracing mobile, companies can reduce servicing costs, improve client satisfaction and position themselves as industry innovators.”
The widespread adoption of mobile technology among financial services firms isn’t without significant challenges. Customers and managers alike are supportive of mobile efforts, but competing priorities, a plethora of devices to design for and, of course, limited budgets were named as the top challenges.
“While the logistics of mobile finance pose an array of development, support and security challenges to financial services firms, there’s no denying that we have entered the mobile era,” Wiegand added. “Financial service firms do not want to be left behind.”