Embracing Mobile: A Good Strategy for Survival

By David Mitchell, President at NYMBUS

There’s arguably a more significant aspect to the digital revolution than the growth in mobile device usage. A report by The Mobile Economy provides some mind-boggling statistics to show the extent of mobile adoption.

According to the report there are 4.8 billion unique mobile subscribers globally, around 60% of the world’s current population. Unique subscribers are expected to grow to 5.7 billion by 2020, with 4.7 billion expected to access the internet through a mobile device at the same time. Since 2010, $1.2 trillion has been invested in global mobile technology and infrastructure.

Banks and credit unions can therefore not ignore the opportunities and customer reach that mobile platforms will afford them. In addition, there are many advantages to adopting a mobile banking strategy, especially from a customer perspective. This includes ease of use, increased accessibility to services, benefits to the environment by going paperless and interesting, innovative and attractive product diversification.

Mobile banking ​h​as moved on from the standard online banking platform that is now expected to be included as part of the package. Consumers are looking for intuitive ways in which their mobile apps and banking needs can be integrated. Benefits to banks and credit unions themselves of adopting a mobile strategy will include being able to compete in the marketplace, reinforcing loyalty with current customers and cost savings that will improve their bottom line.

Personali​z​ation is important

Customers know that their financial service provider of choice has other clients but that doesn’t mean they want to feel any less valuable. Banks and credit unions have an opportunity here to utilize the available technology to build mobile banking apps around specific customer needs. They need to move away from the “one size fits all” mentality.

Apart from maintaining a clean interface, they need to ask the customer what they can do for them individually through their mobile applications and online banking platforms. This will include looking at past transactions and user activity and then us​ing​ this information to suggest personali​z​ed services. ​For example, a​ student with a​n education​ loan might not want to look at mortgage products but will be very interested ​in ​overdraft facilities available to them.

A worthwhile detail would be to allow customers to switch off certain features so they don’t become overwhelmed by content and to provide quick access channels to services they use regularly (account transfers, account statements, etc.)​.​

Providing cutting-edge services

It goes without saying that mobile platforms should allow clients to do the basics, like check account balances, view transaction details and transfer money.

However, everyday transacti​on​s through banks or credit unions can sometimes feel a bit tedious and bland. Financial providers therefore have to go a step further. Customers want more excitement and one way of providing this is to ensure that the products and services on offer are current.

There have been a lot of advancements made in the mobile payments sector and users are increasingly looking for technology that can make their payments more convenient and secure.

Mobile POS (point of sale) technology allows the customer to use their phone at the checkout point in stores, restaurants and many other retail establishments. In order to progress and survive, financial institutions need to make sure they enable clients to make use of this technology as part of the core services that they provide.

Other modern methods of mobile payments that make transacting more comfortable and time-efficient include peer-to-peer transfers through apps, digital wallets and NFC (near field communication) that facilitates contactless payments.

Increased security through mobile devices

Customers are looking at their financial providers to cater for the latest, digitally enabled services. At the same time, they want the comfort of knowing that their online and mobile transactions are more secure than ever before.

Banks and credit unions have to adopt a focused approach to security. Thanks to modern technology there are numerous strategies they can employ to give customers greater peace of mind.

Beyond account passwords and pins, financial institutions can provide biometric verification, like finger print ID, through tablets and smartphones. This method is more secure as fraudsters would actually need someone’s finger prints to get access to their personal information. There’s also no room for guess work like there is with numbered pins and text passwords.

Another area financial providers could look at is debit and credit card security, allowing clients to lock or unlock their cards with a single tap within a mobile app whilst keeping the account open.

Unrivaled customer service

For banks and credit unions, customer service is a top priority in a highly competitive landscape. The advent of mobile banking and digital transacting has given financial institutions many strategic options to improve their customer service.

Personal financial management tools can be incorporated into eas​ily​ accessible mobile apps that allow the user to manage their money against pre-set goals, setup spending alerts and enable them to track categories of where they might be overspending, all in their own time and from the comfort of their own home. This is much more convenient than going into a branch or calling up a customer representative to go through all the options​,​ and give​s​ clients more control over their financial matters.

Customer service can also be improved through smaller, yet common transactional aspects. For example, by letting customers give travel notifications through a simple tap or a swipe (instead of a time consuming phone call) or by providing in​-​app, personali​z​ed credit scores, updated on a regular basis.

Conclusion

Mobile is the future of banking as more and more people are looking to transact through platforms that will provide them with greater personali​zation, innovative services, unwavering security and first-class customer service. Banks and credit unions would therefore be wise to adopt mobile strategies as part of their core solutions that will push them firmly into the 21st century and allow them to build a foundation for long-term survival.