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Tim Tyler

Tim Tyler - Mobile Static

Tim Tyler - Misys

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Innovation in Financial Services

Innovation in Financial Services

A discussion of trends in innovation management within financial institutions, and the key processes, technology and cultural shifts driving innovation.

Freedom to bank via mobile?

25 February 2011  |  4734 views  |  0

I remember when I first became involved in online banking we had to ensure the site was optimised for very low bandwidth connections. One of my very earliest deployments the bank actually went live with their online banking service connected to the web with nothing more than a 56k modem - so the optimisation had to work both ways.

Today, for the vast majority of online services, all of that has changed. Bandwidth is not seen as a restriction as it once was. We have design-heavy websites with streaming video, and banks launching 24x7 customer services via video link (albeit in branch at the moment, but no doubt this will be pushed out to the web).

The problem is, Internet Service Providers (ISP's) and Mobile Network Operators (MNO's) are struggling to fulfil our demands for data movement. Every byte has a price, and the sheer volume of traffic is changing the market. ISP's are looking to charge content providers for unfettered access to their subscribers, whilst both ISP's and MNO's are reducing their customers' data entitlements.

You can still have it fast, just not so much of it at a time.

As we move away from this "all you can eat" model (and hopefully away from the marketing spin of "Unlimited"), will this affect usage? If we consider the mobile space specifically, will [more traditional] customers err away from the mobile web and apps which eat away at their data allowances, and revert back to their other "mobile channels": SMS and Voice?

Perhaps the MNO's could introduce the equivalent of a freephone number for data, so the banks can say to their customers "using our mobile applications will not incur any data charges with your network operator". Not as crazy as it sounds - it would still mean that mobile would be one of the most cost effective channels for the bank, whilst also encouraging adoption. It would also go someway to addressing the concerns of MNO's in the race to NFC and mobile wallets, where they want to charge interchange fees for carrying the payment information.

Could such "Free Domain" (Freedom?) addresses help banks drive adoption of the low cost mobile channel?

TagsRetail banking

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job title Product Manager
location London
member since 2010
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Product Manager for social, location and mobile within Misys. Customer interaction across banking verticals.

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