MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- When was the last time you went to the bank?
We took the question to Nicollet Mall.
"6 months ago, maybe?" was the first response we got.
"Does an ATM count? I would say I went a couple of months ago with my kids, to cash their piggy banks," was the second answer we got.
Two stories up, we took those sound bites to Chris Peper, a VP and Mobile Channel Manager with US Bank.
"At the end of 2010, we had less than a quarter million users using mobile banking and today, that number is well over a million," he explained.
A recent study by Varolii Corporation found 44 percent of the people surveyed use a banking app, while 48 percent have never downloaded one.
Varolii researchers found 45 percent of respondents said their banking app gives them basic functions like transferring balances and checking balances. And 55 percent said their app gives them advance banking functions.
US Bank offers a feature that allows you to take a photograph of a check and instantly deposit it.
"All of those images are transmitted from the customer's phone through a secure connection back to the bank, so at all times that information is being shared only between the bank and the customer," Peper said.
He said it pretty much the same as banking from your home computer.
Peper says his team works in short, 90-day cycles to provide updates and new services because the industry is advancing and offering more and more services that quickly. And, he's quick to note, they're in demand. Perhaps the latest and greatest will give you a snapshot of this equation.
You can take a picture of a monthly bill, then send it through the app and the bank sets up the month-to-month bill pay for you.
"It takes the paper, puts it into the bank system and allows you to make that payment in just a few minutes," Peper said.
Another offering is the ability to send cash in a pinch.
"You can send money to other folks using their email address or their mobile phone number."
The next frontier may be setting up an entire bank account, just by thumbing through your phone.
Naturally, some folks are a little hesitant about all this electronic stuff. Peper says if you're curious, stop by your bank and ask someone to show you how it all works.
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