PwC has released a report this week (The New Digital Tipping Point) that investigates consumer trends in digital banking. It’s an interesting overview of the challenges facing retail banks in 2012, not only to deploy market-leading digital services, but
also to compete with new players that are using digital technology to disrupt the traditional banking model.
I agree with PwC that the pressures in this space are significant and coming from all sides. Many banks lack the skills set (both specific and quantity) to truly innovate using new digital channels. They also don’t have the in-house infrastructure and therefore
technology foundations to launch multiple mobile platforms at a pace. The report from PwC analyses these difficulties and highlights the role that specialist partners must play to help financial institutions to fulfil the demand for digital banking.
The biggest danger that banks currently face when it comes to introducing more innovative banking and payment services is to underestimate the task at hand. To launch a mobile banking solution that simply offers the same services as in branch or online is
not enough. The PwC report highlights the value that must be brought to bear from the richer feature set that mobile devices enable.
Location-based features, timely and relevant marketing opportunities and interactivity are all achievable through the mobile channel and also far more compelling for the customer. And with the Vickers Report recommending that banks must enable easier account
switching, now is the time for marketers in particular to foster better relationships and true loyalty from their customer base.
So, yes, 2012 will be the year of the mobile in financial services, but which institutions will really take this new channel seriously enough to make it count?
James Richards - Director, Mobile - Intelligent Environments