The rise of mobile devices

The release of Caplin’s StreamLink for iOS (PDF) last week marks an interesting step-change in the use of mobile devices in banks for applications beyond email.

RIM’s Blackberry has been the mobile platform of choice within banks for years – it works, it’s secure and everyone’s got one. But it’s rarely used for much beyond email and there has been little demand for real-time capabilities. Not to mention the fact its web browser has been notoriously rubbish.

This is changing fast, however. Users who have a newer generation smart phone for home use are getting fed up with the limitations of the Blackberry in the workplace. This pressure has led many smaller financial institutions to allow iPhones on their networks and some of the bigger ones (like Standard Chartered) are offering them as standard options now. Banks are also seeing an opportunity to be one of the players in the mobile space and are rushing to build, and in turn demanding vendor support for, real-time mobile apps.

However, I believe that it’s not the iPhone, but the iPad that will be the game-changer. It won’t replace the desktop (yet), but traders will want to stay in touch when they are away from their desks. View their positions, keep an eye on the markets and interact with others, for starters. And that’s just internal applications… It’s amazing to realise that the iPad is the fastest adopted consumer electronics product ever, if you exclude mobile phones. Take a moment to consider this – the iPad is currently selling 4.5 million units per quarter! This is 4.5 times faster than the iPhone sold in its first year.

With all these devices out there, it’s this external, client-delivery space where banks can really steal a march on their competitors. Initially we are seeing these apps focus on research and market prices, no execution – so they are complementing their existing SDP offerings. But the technology already supports trading and post-trade capabilities so inevitably, given time and greater confidence, we will see these features too.

We’ve been involved in some very creative and interesting initiatives in this space which I hope to be able to share with you soon…

3 Responses

  1. Hi Patrick, the link “release of Caplin’s StreamLink for iOS ” doesn’t work for me.

    regards, Declan

  2. Thanks Declan – I’ve edited the post to provide an HTML link as well as the original PDF link – can you try again? Perhaps there was a problem with the PDF.



  3. […] Which might explain why the iPad, as the fastest-selling consumer device in history, is currently outselling the iPhone by nearly 5:1. […]

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