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ICBA Survey Shows Data Security is a Top Priority for Community Banks

Washington, D.C. (Oct. 1, 2008)—A new survey by the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) found community banks regard protecting customer data as their primary technological concern. A majority of the nearly 1,300 community bank respondents said they planned to increase spending on security technology.

“Community banks view data security as a major priority, and they are pursuing new technologies to continually protect their customers’ financial data,” said Viveca Ware, ICBA director of payments and technology policy. “The 2008 ICBA Community Bank Technology Survey demonstrates community banks are embracing technological developments to improve customer security and convenience.”

More than 80 percent of respondents to the 2008 ICBA Community Bank Technology Survey said vigorously maintaining data security is their top priority, and the overwhelming majority of bankers said they were exploring additional ways to keep customers’ personal information safe. Of those surveyed, 57 percent plan to increase spending on security-related technology over the next two years, and more than half said they would increase technology spending on fraud detection.

Managing technology risk was cited as another top technological concern. Mobile banking, while in its infancy, is an emerging technology among community banks. Although only 11 percent of community banks currently offer mobile banking to their customers, 30 percent plan to increase their technology spending for mobile banking over the next two years.

Meanwhile, Internet banking has reached critical mass among community banks. Eighty-nine percent of respondents maintain an Internet banking site that allows their customers to conduct banking transactions. That is a 6 percent increase from 2006. Paying bills electronically, updating account information, and viewing check images are the most common services.

The 2008 ICBA Community Bank Technology Survey is sponsored and coordinated by Plante & Moran, PLLC, the nation’s 12th largest certified public accounting and business advisory firm which provides a variety of financial and technology services to community banks. The survey, conducted in June 2008, was sent to 8,258 community banks and generated 1,280 unique bank responses, nearly 16 percent.

Summary results are available at www.icba.org/goto/techresults.