A man using his smartphone to deposit his checkDropping by the bank to make a daily or weekly deposit was once part of many people’s business or personal routine, but today, many banking tasks can be completed with a few clicks of the computer mouse – or even with a few swipes on your smartphone.

Nationally, banking via the Internet is exploding, with 74 percent of people surveyed by the Federal Reserve in 2014 reporting that they had used online banking on a desktop, tablet or laptop in the last 12 months. Thirty-nine percent of adults are completing bank activities on a mobile phone, according to the report, which is a 33 percent increase in usage from 2013.

At INB, we’re seeing similar trends locally, as more people are integrating finances into their mobile activities. In 2015, the INB smartphone app totaled more than 40,000 logins, and today, half of all INB online banking customers also use the INB app.

According to the Federal Reserve, the most popular task for mobile bankers is checking their account balances or recent transactions, followed by transferring money between accounts and receiving alerts from financial institutions.

At INB in 2015 alone, there were more than 50,000 transfers completed through online banking, and images of deposited checks were viewed more than 100,000 times by online banking users.

Another new popular mobile activity, both locally and nationwide, is “mobile deposit,” or taking an images of checks using a phone’s camera and depositing that check into an account.

In 2014, the Federal Reserve report found that more than half of mobile banking users had used their phones to deposit checks — a large increase from 38 percent just a year earlier. At INB, our mobile deposit function has been growing quickly since we first began offering the service a couple of years ago, and our user numbers continue to increase every month.

Paying bills online is another popular activity for online banking, and INB is currently working to add even more functionality to the INB app within the Bill Pay service. 

The driving factor for increased banking activities online is convenience; people no longer have to take the time to physically deposit checks at the bank. At INB, we know that the more convenient a service is for our customers, the better the adoption and retention rates will be.

So, with so many benefits to banking online, what are the drawbacks? The biggest concern users have with online banking is security. In general, there are risks that come with connecting to the Internet, and people feel cautious about that. But as long as your computer is safe, your personal information is safe too, so I always recommend ensuring your personal computers and devices are up-to-date and free of malware.

I believe there will always be a need for brick-and-mortar banks, because some business just has to be conducted face-to-face, but the trends only point upward in regards to consumers adopting mobile and online banking practices. Making banking easy is our vision at INB, and we can certainly achieve that for our customers through our advanced methods of online and mobile banking.

Today, smartphones have been around for less than 10 years, and the tasks we can accomplish with these new mobile tools is astounding; I can only imagine what the future will hold for online and mobile banking!