Financial services firms need to support customers via a growing number of touchpoints. The fast growth of tablets like the iPad mean they are rapidly moving onto that list — Apple has sold 14.8 million iPads in only nine months, and we expect that by 2015, 82 million US consumers alone will be using tablets.

Tablets combine some of the best features of smartphones and PCs to create unique benefits for users and the eBusiness executives who want to reach them. They enable financial services eBusiness executives to develop services that are fast, rich, collaborative, portable, and – last but not least – cool.

These unique characteristics have only limited advantages compared to PCs and mobile phones for self-service interactions like transactional banking and stock trading for the majority of consumers. In fact, we expect that mobile banking has far more potential to become the dominant channel for day-to-day banking in the future.

But thanks to their portability, social acceptance, and rich collaboration capabilities, we expect that tablets will have a big impact on how financial advisors sell to and service customers face to face. Tablets can help advisors to be more flexible about where they deliver advice and enable them to provide advice more effectively and efficiently.  

As tablets become more widespread, eBusiness and channel strategy executives need to optimize their browser-based websites for tablets, define a tipping point to decide when to build native tablet apps, develop services that make use of the devices' full potential, and review whether and when to replace the tools advisors use today.

If you want to read more about this topic, I encourage you to read the full report here.