Premier Mobile Banking (PMB), a mobile banking platform
specifically targeting community banks, has been launched by US
financial services technology vendor Fiserv. “This technology was
specifically developed for our community bank clients to help them
expand their offerings and compete effectively against even their
largest competitors,” said Tom Cypher, president and CEO of
Fiserv’s Information Technology unit.
Operating on a browser embedded in handheld devices, PMB is
carrier-independent and compatible with any web-enabled device.
Users are able to transfer funds between accounts, check account
balances, view recent transactions and receive alerts.
Tim Lockwood, senior vice-president and chief information
officer at United Bank of Michigan (UBM), the first community bank
to implement PMB, explained that the decision to offer mobile
banking was based on strategic considerations and competition.
Specifically, other major national banks in their market were about
to release similar services. UBM has assets of $421 million.
He added that though customer demand for mobile banking was
limited prior to implementation of PMB, mobile banking activity has
subsequently built significantly and virtually every new customer
now chooses this service.
Role of technology vendors
Fiserv appears to have selected a promising niche market to target.
A new study by consultancy TowerGroup has highlighted the key role
technology vendors must play in helping smaller banks enter the
mobile banking arena, which it termed “a strategic business and
technology priority for the top US banks”.
TowerGroup stressed that while the major banks have the
financial and technical resources to make a strategic commitment to
the mobile channel, most mid-tier and small banks are “innovation-
and/or cost-challenged on this front”. The consultancy continued
that when new technology becomes available, mid-tier and small
financial institutions look to their core processing vendors for
leadership and innovation.
Fiserv says Cypher PMB has been licensed to another 24 community