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HTML5 - Transforming the customer experience for Banks

There has been huge momentum around HTML5 with Banks and other financial services firms in the last year and the enthusiasm continues into the New Year as technology managers of these large financial enterprises embrace the potential of this technology.

With increased need for rich user experience, interesting applications were created leveraging AJAX and other toolkits. But inherent limitations of the browser like the lack of offline storage, integration with local devices and reali time notifications inhibited the imagination of what can be done with browser alone...

With many advanced features like server side push, geographical positioning (GPS), video and audio playback, and many others, HTML5 provides a new opportunity for financial services firms to relook at building customer experience in an entirely new way.

Features like Geolocation of HTML5 are making life so much easier for end users. Without entering the ZIP code, the Geo-aware application can locate doctors in an insurance application, call center agents will be able to provide information quicker and resolve issues and process claims faster.

Since it is possible to store the user actions locally on the user-machine using local storage, once the user is online, HTML5 would sync the data with the remote server. For mobile traders, the seamless transition between online and offline states can thus be implemented. Thus a trader, doing the analysis can push the trades once he is back online, instead of re-computing the steps because of weak network signal.

Real time updates on market news, trader announcements in stock market, payment processing status updates, latest credit score computations would all be seamlessly achieved through server push using web sockets.

There will not be a need for third party plug-ins to support Audio and Video using HTML5. Hence richer and user friendly experience will be possible for retail banks and insurance customers.

With customers who are exposed to new and innovative experience demanding those features with Banking as well, we will surely see many new innovative use cases for this technology.. 

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Comments: (8)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 24 January, 2012, 13:57Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Yes HTML5 is a big bonus especially as the Ipad is not Flash software friendly. Our OnDemand Sales Application is scheduled for the Ipad this quarter and the sales team have all been promised an Ipad's to track their deals plus show the software while they are with customers, that's all down to HTML5!

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 24 January, 2012, 21:05Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Whilst HTML5 has some great benefits it won't be as fast, rich or secure as a native application.  The fact that you can need to install a client to your device means you can store additional information to secure the handset that you just can't do with a browser.  With apps increasing in popularity, and security such an issues for browser it will be interesting what happens over the next few years.

Dharmesh Mistry
Dharmesh Mistry - PropFinTech Investor - Reading 25 January, 2012, 05:01Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

http://finextra.com/Community/profile.aspx?memberid=59501 

Some banks already use HTML based mobile banking, look at LloydsTSB for example. There is as much risk in Native Apps as browser (depending on platform also).

In terms of performance there are optimised Javascript engines and techniques for mitigating any concerns.

I'm not saying that HTML5 is ready (because it's not fully supported, and fully cross browser compatible yet) but some of the concerns people are raising are incorrect.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 25 January, 2012, 08:20Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The Lloyds app has been universally acclaimed as one of the worse implementations of a banking app in recent years.  That is the last example you would want to use to proclaim the benefits of HTML5.  Especially considering the effort and timeline it took to deliver.  I believe 18 months from start to finish. 

With a native app you can store unique identifiers that are encrypted on the device, basically creating a one-to-one relationship between that version of the client and that device.  As a hacker I would basically then have to steal the device to access that users content.  With HTML5, or any browser based solution, I just need to phish their details and login in locally.

In terms of speed, having high res images stored as part of the client, instead of downloading them is always going to make the app faster and look richer.  Sure 4G is coming along etc, but for a while native will be the way to go for high-end applications.

Dharmesh Mistry
Dharmesh Mistry - PropFinTech Investor - Reading 25 January, 2012, 13:12Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

As an ex-Lloyds Bank employee I can't comment. ;o) The timescales don't surprise me, but generally they tend to say less about development effort than delivery processes.

A native app would need an initial download of high res images, however a HTML5 image could be cached surely? However given this is for actual banking should it require many such images?

I agree on phishing. But given some of the non iOS app stores lax checking surely you could create a fake app that simply took your online credentials and passed them on?

When we look at some of the social apps using HTML5, like Facebook, you gotta see that many corporate or self service apps don't need a lot of "richness" on mobile, and that is more the point I was making ;o)

John Dring
John Dring - Intel Network Services - Swindon 25 January, 2012, 13:26Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Agree with the above comments - thats why our approach is via a device abstraction layer enabling a single native app to be deployed across any mobile device and benefit from the native functionalities, but with an HTML5 presentation wrapper to make the presentation ubiquitous (and can also leverage HTML5 functions too).  Cool (but serious) stuff.

Dharmesh Mistry
Dharmesh Mistry - PropFinTech Investor - Reading 25 January, 2012, 13:31Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Thats cool, are you using a library for that ?

John Dring
John Dring - Intel Network Services - Swindon 26 January, 2012, 10:44Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

We have the Streamezzo Workbench and Eclipse based IDE.  It takes the Javascript from Web Apps and using 'InstantScript' (Java) transforms that into the native API call for the device.  The App is packaged up for the target device(s) using the workbench and means that native content/code can be updated silently and online as required (e.g fixes and graphical updates).  Its WAC API compliant.

We call this bridge between HTML5 presentation and native app execution HAWK (HTM App Wrapper frameworK).    Advert over!