For banks looking for innovative ways to serve customers without incurring costs to themselves, mobile banking is the perfect area in which to grow. Overall, banks have been somewhat slow to develop and promote these services. Here are four that are actively pushing mobile offerings, placing them ahead of their more sluggish competitors.

Mobile banking gets more popular every year
Banking with their mobile devices appeals to many consumers, according to recent research . One-third of mobile users also perform banking tasks with their devices, up from 24% last year. Of those banking customers, 43% reported annual incomes of $75,000 or more -- just the kind of customer base the banks are looking to grow.

When it comes to mobile banking, Bank of America has been right on top of things, recently updating its apps for all mobile devices, including tablets. The bank has recently come out with a new app for Windows 8, enabling customers to do their banking on Microsoft's new operating system. B of A's app has already garnered positive reviews from nearly 500 customers, who have given it four stars  out of five.


U.S. Bank, a division of US Bancorp is teaming up with computer peripherals maker Mitek Systems to offer mobile bill payments . Users will soon be able to snap a picture of a bill, and then pay it online using the bank's new app. Similar to mobile check deposit, a service currently being offered by B of A, JPMorgan Chase , Citigroup , and Wells Fargo , this technology was a bit trickier to master. This is a huge win for U.S. Bank, as well as Mitek -- which has had some legal problems lately.

JPMorgan is a mover and shaker in mobile, too. The company was recently given the top slot  by Javelin Research in its annual Mobile Banking Financial Institution Scorecard, scoring points for giving customers the greatest access through various mobile offerings. Bank of America ranked second, and Wells Fargo was within the top five. Wells looks to be stepping up its online and mobile presence, having just recently announced that its e- payments team has the highest number of Automated Clearing House professionals in the land.

One Fool's take
Being on the cutting edge of mobile banking technology can only help swell the coffers of these banks, as more customers use this barometer when choosing which institution to do business with. Mobile pleases consumers and helps keep costs down, as B of A well knows . As a recipe for success, this one sounds like a winner.

Wells Fargo's dedication to solid, conservative banking helped it vastly outperform its peers during the financial meltdown. Today, Wells is the same great bank as ever, but with its stock trading at a premium to the rest of the industry, is there still room to buy, or is it time to cash in your gains? To help figure out whether Wells Fargo is a buy today, I invite you to download our premium research report from one of The Motley Fool's top banking analysts. Click here now for instant access to this in-depth take on Wells Fargo.

The article For These 4 Banks, the Future Is Now originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Amanda Alix has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, and Wells Fargo. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Microsoft and Wells Fargo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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