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Finance 2.0

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Everything significant we are working on is around mobile?

05 November 2012  |  6782 views  |  2

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, famously said that “everything significant we are working on is around mobile,” reflecting the current core focus on mobile in the technology industry – something mirrored throughout financial services and retail. Schmidt’s quote also highlights the multitude of different mobile offerings currently on the market, and the fact that the largest companies are already choosing to keep several irons in the fire. At a recent Digital Banking Club event, this led the room to the question – should banking strategy now be mobile led?

Mobile banking is widely recognised as low hanging fruit for retail banks, and offers the opportunity to benefit from a new type of interaction with existing customers. As reported on this blog, many banks across the world are already offering mobile services, with US mobile advertising company Verve Mobile reporting this week that 80% of American consumers believe mobile banking is important.

Smartphones are vital to the modern Brit, with mobile now a key facet of everyday life for much of the population. The latest research from Google shows that 70% of smartphone users will use their phone whilst shopping instore, and 43% of smartphone users in the US would give up beer to keep their phone! With much of everyday smartphone use now involving multi-tasking, there is a huge opportunity for banks to increase the contact they get with their customers, and to maximise the potential of these interactions.

Mobile is a driving force for change in the retail banking industry, with the volume of this type of transaction widely expected to double by 2015. The challenge comes in making these products truly useful for the customer. Consumers want an end-to-end experience, and consistency when accessing their bank account via their mobile, their iPad, their PC, or even their Smart TV. They also need services which reflect the uses for which they most lend themselves – for instance those with banking apps tend to log on to view their balance almost every day, enabling them a better view of their finances but often not resulting in transactions or any further action. Through combining a variety of banking services in one place, smartphones will one day replace debit cards, allowing both physical payments instore and online transactions.

If one thing is clear, it’s that modern banking is about connecting people to their money more quickly, accurately and efficiently than ever before. Perhaps banking strategy isn’t yet mobile led, but very soon it will need to be driven by all digital channels.

TagsMobile & online

Comments: (3)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 05 November, 2012, 22:40

Based on current trends in late 2013 or early 2014 most banks will be seeing 50% of their digital transactions bring done on a mobile.  By 2015 it will be more than 50% of all bank transactions.

It's time to start changing now...

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member 06 November, 2012, 08:39

I'm at a loss to understand why anyone needs to access their bank account through a mobile device. I do not know anyone who needs to access their bank account more than once per day and most do not need to access it more than once or twice per week.

Using a smart phone whilst shopping in store has nothing to do with mobile banking. To quote Daryl Huff, the author of 'How to Lie with Statistics', this is a semi-attached statistic.

And the wonderful quote that 80% of American consumers think that mobile banking is important. Have you travelled around the US, outside of the big 5 US cities? The figure of 80% is outlandish and so far wrong it is laughable. I wonder how large Verve Mobile's survey was out of the 320 million people living in the US.

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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 06 November, 2012, 14:31

Eric Schmidt must have said whatever he did about mobile more than a week ago. Because, as of last week, Google seems to be going exactly in the opposite direction by announcing that it is planning to release a plastic card version of a pure-play mobile product like Google Wallet. Seems like Google has finally realized the folly of trying to mobilize everything just for the sake of it, and / or to let its ex-CEO and present Executive Chairman work only on mobile.

Having said that, Mobile Banking has a lot of potential - as long as banks and technology providers don't treat it as just a portable version of Internet Banking. Smartphones have GPS, accelerometer, camera and many other things that PCs don't. Mobile banking apps - e.g. Mobile RDC - that leverage a smartphone's superior specs can deliver tremendous customer value.

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