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What bricks and mortar banking can learn from mobile

Today innovation in banking has almost become a byword for what the next big use of mobile technology will be in helping people and businesses bank more easily and more flexibly. From m-commerce applications to digital banking platforms and personal mobile wallets, a vast number of start-ups, banks, retailers and technology vendors are all trying to figure out how to take what consumers love about their mobiles and transfer this into real banking benefits. But, people can mistake innovation with what the physical device can do, rather than what it can deliver.

Mobile technology is great because it delivers information and services in real-time, wherever you are and whenever you need it.  While banks are increasingly giving people and businesses the ability to manage their finance online, what about the physical channels that we still find so valuable – the bricks and mortar bank branches and ATMs?  How do we take the best of what mobile can deliver and apply it to providing that fast, personalised service in these off-line environments?

We’re already seeing the tablet being used in all sorts of interesting ways in branches  - for example, bank staff greeting you with a tablet to help you find the services you need without having to wait in line for a cashier.  As for ATMs, at a recent banking technology show, many new-style prototype ATMs were on show, the common theme being that they are embodying the technology and experiences delivered by tablets and smartphones to enable consumers to do so much more than withdraw cash.

While this technology and its potential is hugely exciting for the financial services industry, it is really the data and infrastructure that sits behind all these devices that’s important.  Customers now expect to be able to bank in real-time, be provided with services based on their customer histories  and receive a consistent experience no matter which channel they are using – physical or digital. Utilising this data to meet and succeed customer expectations will be the technology that makes a real difference.

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 30 July, 2013, 16:03Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Good holistic post. On ATM we saw an interesting ATM design at the EFMA conference that was very much drawn on the points you make- see la Caixa.

On the technology it is a truism, but the issues around not making technology work (breakages) make this more than a semantic point. If delivering IT were straightforward then banks would be doing it despite what we say about them.

We reviewed the provison of Tablet Banking by banks earlier this year and out of the findings the phrase "Branch on the go" perfectly described the newer competitor offerings and their continued direction.

This is the reality of banking. We certainly feel that the Tablet devices will take more branch tasks as will mobile. Both will add pressure on data and infrastrucure- it will be interesting to watch how things evolve as the pressure grows.