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2012 ICBA Technology Survey Shows Community Banks Push Forward on Mobile Adoption

Data Security and Regulatory Compliance Remain Top Concerns

Southfield, MICH— The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) recently released results of its 2012 Community Bank Technology Survey, sponsored and coordinated by Plante Moran, PLLC, and findings reveal that the mobile banking revolution is well underway for community banks despite growing concerns about regulatory compliance, safeguarding data and managing the pace of technological change.

“The 2012 ICBA Community Bank Technology Survey shows that community banks are offering mobile banking as another way to provide first-rate service to their customers,” said Jeff Gerhart, chairman of ICBA and of Bank of Newman Grove, Neb.

According to the ICBA biennial survey, 37 percent of community banks currently offer mobile banking to their customers, more than double the 15 percent that did so in 2010. Even though customer adoption is only emerging with an average of 8 percent of consumers and 5 percent of businesses currently using a mobile banking offering, the survey determined another 44 percent plan to offer the service in the next 24 months. The percentage of community banks with no plans to offer mobile banking has declined to less than 20 percent, according to the survey.

Protecting data and infrastructure, systems availability and recovery, detecting and mitigating fraud, and managing the pace of technological change were cited as top concerns.

Data security also continues to motivate community banks to find better ways to protect customers’ personal information.  Decisions about data security were cited among the top five technology decisions for 70 percent of community banks.  The issue was also identified as the top technology decision for 38 percent of community banks.  Determining how to best ensure data security is especially challenging for smaller community banks with 44 percent naming it as their greatest top technology decision.

Consumer ID theft ranks among the top data security concern for 52 percent of community banks.  Respondents regarded virus attacks as another top concern (43 percent) but only 3.8 percent of community banks report any monetary loss due to such attacks, possibly because losses from IT downtime are difficult to attribute or quantify monetarily.

“Community banks are on the cusp of offering their customers better functionality in mobile applications to more completely meet their needs,” said Raj Patel, partner and leader of Plante & Moran’s security assurance team.  “Although only a small percentage of consumers are currently using mobile apps, the survey reports that downloadable apps are being offered by a majority of community banks who offer mobile banking.  There’s only more to come.”
 
Other findings from the survey conclude:

  • Community bank concerns over regulatory compliance have not faded since ICBA’s 2010 survey. Complying with regulations stood as the top technology issue for 82 percent of community banks, the same percentage as in 2010.
  • Community banks continue to hold the line on technology spending.
  • Online banking is universally offered by community banks, with customer penetration growing.
  • Almost all community banks offer paperless statements; customers are slow to adapt.
  • There is an uptick in social media usage among community banks.
  • Community bank IT departments are assessing the business uses of tablets.

The 2012 ICBA Community Bank Technology Survey is sponsored and coordinated by Plante & Moran, PLLC, one of the nation’s largest certified public accounting and business advisory firms and providing a variety of financial and technology services to community banks. The survey, conducted in July 2012, was sent to 7,000 community banks and generated 530 unique bank responses, a response rate of 7.5 percent.

To view ICBA’s 2012 Community Bank Survey results, visit http://www.plantemoran.com/industries/Banks/Documents/ICBA-survey-report.pdf.

About ICBA
The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for more than 7,000 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services.  For more information, visit www.icba.org.

About Plante Moran
Plante Moran (www.plantemoran.com) is among the nation’s largest certified public accounting and business advisory firms, providing clients with tax, audit, risk management, financial, technology, business consulting and wealth management services.  Plante Moran has a staff of more than 2,000 professionals in 22 offices throughout Michigan, Ohio and Illinois, with international offices in Shanghai, China; Monterrey, Mexico and Mumbai, India.  Plante Moran has been recognized by a number of organizations, including FORTUNE magazine, as one of the country’s best places to work.

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