Where Are The Android Tablet Banking Apps?
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25 September 2013Jacob Jegher
Banks aren't the swiftest at keeping up with tech trends. It's not a surprise, particularly with the constraints imposed by compliance, risk, IT security, and legal. There is also the mess of legacy systems that eat up scarce IT resources. However, there are several key trends that simply can't be ignored if banks want to stay relevant in the mobile banking space. Stephen Greer recently posted about a recent report that we authored, Tablet Banking: An Evaluation of Tablet Apps at the Top US Banks. There is no doubt that banks have to move quickly and build full featured and engaging tablet apps. What's fascinating to me is that only 7 of the top 13 banks have released apps. Even more interesting is that only 2 (Bank of America and PNC Virtual Wallet) have dedicated Android tablet apps. Android commands a staggering 67% of the tablet market! On a personal note, I've fully switched over to Android and have dropped my iPhone and iPad (more on that in a future blog post). Addressing the Android space isn't necessarily a quick and easy endeavor, and banks have to make sure their app is ready for mass market consumption. Bank of America is a great example of a bank that has released an Android tablet app, but it simply doesn't work with a slew of devices on the market. Kudos to them for actually building an Android app, but I had to use 3 different Android tablets before I could get the Bank of America app and running. I first attempted to use the app on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 - nothing doing, Google Play indicated that the app was not compatible with this device. I tried again with an Acer Iconia A210 - same problem. The Bank of America app was finally evaluated using an Asus MeMO Pad Smart 10. It can certainly be a challenge for banks to build apps that are compatible with the spectrum of Android devices on the market. Different screen sizes, screen resolutions and hardware can pose challenges. With that said, it's critical for banks to offer a smooth experience. Make sure your app is compatible before you release it to the masses. And let's not forget that the masses are running Android.