A recent survey released by the Independent Community Bankers of America showed that the number of community banks that offer mobile payment services has risen 23 percent from 2011 and that another 43 percent plan to offer mobile payments by 2015.
“The 2013 ICBA Community Bank Payments Survey confirms what we are seeing anecdotally in the marketplace—that community banks are increasingly offering mobile banking services to meet the evolving needs of their customers and enhance overall customer service,” Viveca Y. Ware, the ICBA’s executive vice president of regulatory policy, said. “The survey also reveals that community banks are increasingly seeing payments as a relationship-builder—something that is right in line with the community bank relationship lending model.”
Fifty-four percent of larger community banks—those with $501 million or more in assets—currently offer mobile payments, and 46 percent of community banks with between $251 million and $500 million in assets offer mobile payments.
Only 59 percent of community banks mentioned increasing profitability as one of their top payments strategies, compared to 70 percent in 2011. While a majority of banks noted payments as a source of efficiency, more banks now see payments as a way to improve on customer service.
“Community banks, by definition, are customer and community driven,” Samuel Vallandingham, the chairman of ICBA’s Bank Operations and Payments Committee, said. “According to this year’s survey, most community banks set their bank’s strategic direction in payments by listening to their customers.”
The survey also found that revenue increases are mainly the result of business payments products. Banks with less than $100 million in assets were least likely to see revenue increases and were more likely to experience revenue decreases.
Additionally, the survey found that 40 percent of community banks offer electronic person-to-person payments, compared to 27 percent in 2011. Another 28 percent of community banks plan to implement P2P payments within the next two years.