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Banks seeing strong ROI on mobile investments - Accenture

10 February 2011  |  4994 views  |  0 Source: Accenture

When banks enable their customers to use a mobile device to check balances, transfer money, pay bills, apply for credit or manage their personal finances, they can achieve returns on investment of as high as 300 percent, according to a new study commissioned by Accenture (NYSE: ACN).

Banks generating the highest returns on their mobile banking investments achieved ROI by emphasizing customer convenience, providing rich exchanges of information between bank and customer and accurately measuring how customers use their mobile phones to bank, according to the research which was conducted by TowerGroup on behalf of Accenture.

"Bank customers want greater control over managing their finances and prefer to bank in ways that fit their lifestyles," said Andy Zimmerman, director, mobility services, Accenture. "Technology is enabling customers to move beyond simple account notifications sent by text message from their banks to more sophisticated interactive applications."

According to Zimmerman, the mobile banking channel offers an opportunity for banks to create a meaningful dialogue with their customers, deepening loyalty and broadening the services to which their customers can subscribe. "Leading financial institutions that are communicating the value of these services to their customers are generating new revenue," he said.

"The pace-setting banks in this study have shown that high mobile adoption and return on investment hinges upon providing a suite of services that are relevant to their customers, educating customers on how to use mobile services and regularly measuring customers' usage patterns and satisfaction rates," said Noel Gordon, global managing director of Accenture's banking practice. "The mobility market will continue to grow as banks adopt the best practices of those with successful mobile banking programs."

According to the study, financial institutions with successful mobile banking programs:

* Fully understand customer's expectations of mobility, such as their need to have the same experience on their smart phone as they have on their laptop.
* Minimize customer fees, which helps ensure greater customer engagement.
* Monitor and leverage the evolving functions of customers' handsets and the platforms they use.
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* Ensure that their staff is fully engaged in supporting mobile banking.

Successful programs can yield high return on investment

Among the 10 financial institutions studied, the key findings include:

* ROI of 300 percent. A Middle-Eastern financial institution has achieved a return on investment of at least 300 percent through customer education by showing its two million mobile banking customers how to access and use services, and offering new, convenient ways to pay bills online using their mobile devices, including "topping up" their pay-as-you-go mobile phones, paying utilities bills, or paying a fixed monthly fee for a premium services package.
* ROI of 230 percent. An Asia-Pacific bank has achieved a return on investment of 230 percent since launching mobile banking in 2007. It is transitioning from informational services - sending text message reminders to customers for example, to interactive services such as enabling customers to register online for mobile banking. The bank's executives said the focus on engaging staff at branches and the call center was critical to success.
* Annual customer growth of 60 percent. A European bank whose customers can check balances, transfer money between accounts and trade stocks with their mobile phones has achieved 60 percent annual growth of its mobile banking customers. The bank's executives said support of multiple smart phone device platforms has contributed to success.

A study from Berg Insight[1] forecasts that the number of mobile banking users in the U.S. will grow from 12 million in 2009 to 86 million in 2015, and the European market will grow from 7 million mobile banking users in 2009 to 115 million users in 2015.

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