I've recently published new research on mobile account opening in the US, and as usually happens, some of my theories went down in flames.
Theory #1 - anyone who's actually opening an account with a mobile device must be using a tablet.
Reality - Smartphones are being used much more often than tablets. Even though the user experience isn't great, determined users are soldiering on and applying for bank accounts using tiny screens and doing lots of typing. This is really amazing because
in most cases, institutions haven't designed for mobile account opening. Consumers are accessing the online account opening site - which is really designed for a desktop experiences. Even if you don't plan for mobile account opening, consumers will find a
Theory #2 - Without face-to-face, fraud will be tough to control using mobile devices.
Reality - There are some great security and user identification capabilities inherent to mobile devices that can actually improve the ability to detect potential imposters. Some of these are still in proof of concept, but I'm optimistic that we've got the
tools to make mobile account opening even more secure than in-branch. I would expect some of the new best practices in mobile account opening will also leak into the branch and face-to-face processes will change.
This was a great research assignment, and I'll keep following developments - in part to see if my forecasting proves right. I'd love to hear your experiences with mobile and online account opening. How are you handling drop-outs? Are you requiring a signature
speciment? How do you let consumers fund accounts? What else is going on that's new and different?