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The next 12 months for mobile banking...

Customer service is key but resources are a challenge.

Mobile banking is one of a handful of new banking services that seemed to come along just as banks withdrew investment in new services and reigned in innovation budgets. However, as we emerge from the crisis there are lots of forces that are currently in alignment, pushing more of the tier one banks towards rolling out a mobile banking solution.

To really gauge the mood of the industry, we polled the attendees of a recent breakfast briefing. The results were interesting and shed some light on the main motivation that is prompting banks to invest in mobile services – increasing customer satisfaction. 36 per cent of respondents rated this as their primary driver to provide mobile services. This was closely followed by 30 per cent of respondents who felt that the ability to market to their customer base via a new channel was the biggest reason to roll out mobile services.

When asked when mobile services will be available for their financial institution, only 13 per cent stated that they currently have no intention of implementing a solution. The majority (40 per cent) stated that they will deliver mobile services to the end user in the next 12 months. The main challenge that they foresee they must overcome to do this is ensuring that they have the right resources in place, suggesting that banks are anxious about their in-house teams capacity and experience to implement mobile services.

Aside from the basic account functionality, many of the respondents recognised the location-based value that the mobile channel can deliver. One in eight respondents want to include location based services in their mobile solution, for example being able to create timely rewards and offers to customers who are in a shopping centre and spending money on their credit card.

An advantage that mobile banking has is quite simply the ubiquity of the mobile – with practically the entire customer base owning a mobile phone that is capable of at least SMS-based banking, when banks do start rolling out services in earnest, adoption is predicted to be considerable. 88 per cent of financial institutions felt that more than one in five of their customers would take up mobile banking in the next three years.

In conversations at the end of the event, I must admit I was struck by just how close we are now coming to the widespread availability of mobile banking services. It is incredibly reminiscent of just over a decade earlier when some of the same faces were expressing exactly the same optimism about internet banking as a game changing service. I wonder whether in 2020, we will be able to imagine a life without banking services on mobile devices?


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