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Up your mobile game or face customer churn

As moves to make account switching easier draw closer (D-day for regulation to come into play is currently September 2013), the Payments Council has published a report confirming the consumer demand for a more simple way to move from one current account provider to another.

There are many fables about consumer reticence in changing their main banking provider, including the fact that you are more likely to divorce than switch banks in your lifetime. However, customer churn is now slowly rising up the list of challenges that banks face. With the added pressure from comparison sites that commoditise banking services by price, banks are exploring ways to improve the customer experience and overall package on offer to their customers.

Part of this review of competitive differentiation for basic current account services must include how to leverage mobile services to create stronger customer loyalty. There is a huge amount of research proving the demand from customers to be treated as individuals with tailored marketing and customer services. The mobile channel offers significant potential for banks to develop better relationships with their customers and ultimately increase customer retention.  Indeed, when one considers that mobile banking users access their bank on average four times more frequently than via their online channel offering, the opportunity for true “stickiness” has never been so great.

At a recent IDC Financial Insights event I attended, the analyst team highlighted an important transition that banks must make this year – taking their mobile banking services from informational to transactional. This is key to delivering real value to customers via the mobile channel but importantly, it’s a critical step to driving revenue through mobile banking as well. For example, being able to recognise (through mobile banking) that a customer is standing in a shopping centre on a Saturday morning and about to hit their credit card limit, the bank can respond instantly with an extension to their credit via mobile marketing.

As the need to provide customers with anytime, anywhere services continues to increase, retail banks must respond through an innovative and targeted mobile banking strategy.

James Richards - Director, Mobile - Intelligent Environments

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