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Get ready for the banking mobility revolution

With toddlers becoming so addicted to iPads that they need therapy and remote workers now carrying an average of 3.5 mobile devices per person, it is not surprising that IT giant, Cisco, recently found customers are placing more and more trust in virtual banking. However, with the majority of online banking still being done on desktop PCs and laptops, are banks really making the most of mobile?

According to Cisco’s global Customer Experience Research, the majority of customers are now comfortable opening bank accounts (60%) and servicing loans (57%) online. Customers are also comfortable receiving financial recommendations and advice based on location data from their mobile phones (59%), and would be happy to be sent real time notifications that assist with financial or purchase decisions (54%).

And yet while banking customers are beginning to trust digital channels to manage their finances, this is still very much biased towards desktop banking. Our research found that despite the sharp rise in mobile device ownership, tablets and smartphones are far less trusted for financial transactions. Just a quarter of customers are prepared to make low value payments of under £20 via a smartphone, and a mere one in ten (10%) would use their smartphone to make a high value payment of over £1,000. In fact most people (71%) said they wouldn’t even use their mobile phone or tablet to check their balance.

This perception is set to change as technology advances. Apple is rumoured to be including a fingerprint scanner in its next iPhone, thereby enhancing security, while the 4G rollout across the country will boost the nation’s connectivity and ability to bank while on the move.  Mobile technology is moving fast and banks need to keep up – but how many are actually using the mobile channel to create a competitive advantage?

At the moment, not nearly enough of them. However, with almost half of UK current account holders likely to consider switching their account once the strict seven-day switching regulations come into effect in just a few months, this is set to change.

Offering switching bonuses may gain additional customers in the short-term, but long term loyalty will belong to the savvy banks who make online banking as attractive, easy and reliable as possible. And it will be the ability to offer a seamless online banking experience, from desktop to device, that will separate the winners from the losers when September rolls around.


Comments: (1)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 02 May, 2013, 14:52Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Mobile banking and payments have been around for years. Despite that, a large portion of customers involved in your research don't seem to want to use them. Whose court is the ball in? If customers', it might make more sense for banks to jettisson any further work around the mobile channel instead of fighting the losing battle of using it "to create a competitive advantage". If banks', can you offer any specific list of enhancements in the mobile channel that would result in greater customer adoption of the channel? Certainly, it can't be to provide a seamless online banking experience: Technically, mobile is a different channel than online, so "online banking experience" on a mobile is a logical fallacy. Besides, as I'd highlighted in my 3-part blog post titled Jumping On The Omnichannel Bandwagon over a year ago, seamless multichannel banking experience is neither required nor feasible. This recent Snarketing2.0 post substantiates my views.

Personally, I believe that banks can pump up mobile channel adoption rate by launching "Mobile 3.0" features - e.g. turn-by-turn navigation for ATM / Branches, Mobile RDC, and so on - by exploiting GPS, camera, voice recorder and other smartphone specs.  GoBank and a couple of other banks have already done this. Since PCs lack these specs, online banking will not be able to support these features, thus making the customer experience across multiple channels the opposite of seamless. In other words, a "seamy" customer experience will actually boost mobile channel usage. 

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