Forget ATM machines. Financial institutions that want to stay competitive are going to have to work the phones if they want to hang on to their customers in the future. That is to say, they’ll have to make their services accessible by smartphone.

That, at least, is the word from Intuit, Inc., whose subsidiary unit, Intuit Financial Services, today announced a new mobile banking application that makes it easier for owners of Android smartphones to manage their finances from their phones.

With the new application, Intuit says Android users will be able to view their account balances and account transaction histories, transfer funds, pay bills from wherever they are at the moment, and -- using the phone’s internal GPS -- locate bank branches and even ATMs. 

CeCe Morken, president of Intuit Financial Services, said of the new application, “People are increasingly reaching for a mobile device when they need financial information. If financial institutions are going to remain relevant in the future, they will have to offer insights and services when and where customers need them."

Intuit is also working on applications for Apple devices including the iPad and the iPhone. The company says the new application works on all carrier networks.

Industry analyst Brett King notes that there is a large population of “highly educated and underbanked” people in the U.S., and that many of these potential customers can be reached by making access to banks more mobile. 

He says mobile phone banking options represent a new and potentially lucrative opportunity for financial services organizations to reach customers who might otherwise not be interested in a bank or credit union.