Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, famously said that “everything significant we are working on is around mobile,” reflecting the current core focus on mobile in the technology industry – something mirrored throughout financial services and retail.
Schmidt’s quote also highlights the multitude of different mobile offerings currently on the market, and the fact that the largest companies are already choosing to keep several irons in the fire. At a recent Digital Banking Club event, this led the room to
the question – should banking strategy now be mobile led?
Mobile banking is widely recognised as low hanging fruit for retail banks, and offers the opportunity to benefit from a new type of interaction with existing customers. As reported on this blog, many banks across the world are already offering mobile services,
with US mobile advertising company Verve Mobile reporting this week that 80% of American consumers believe mobile banking is important.
Smartphones are vital to the modern Brit, with mobile now a key facet of everyday life for much of the population. The latest research from Google shows that 70% of smartphone users will use their phone whilst shopping instore, and 43% of smartphone users
in the US would give up beer to keep their phone! With much of everyday smartphone use now involving multi-tasking, there is a huge opportunity for banks to increase the contact they get with their customers, and to maximise the potential of these interactions.
Mobile is a driving force for change in the retail banking industry, with the volume of this type of transaction widely expected to double by 2015. The challenge comes in making these products truly useful for the customer. Consumers want an end-to-end experience,
and consistency when accessing their bank account via their mobile, their iPad, their PC, or even their Smart TV. They also need services which reflect the uses for which they most lend themselves – for instance those with banking apps tend to log on to view
their balance almost every day, enabling them a better view of their finances but often not resulting in transactions or any further action. Through combining a variety of banking services in one place, smartphones will one day replace debit cards, allowing
both physical payments instore and online transactions.
If one thing is clear, it’s that modern banking is about connecting people to their money more quickly, accurately and efficiently than ever before. Perhaps banking strategy isn’t yet mobile led, but very soon it will need to be driven by all digital channels.