Consumers are adopting mobile banking and payments technologies at a record pace and in real-time. They’re demanding convenience, security and personalized experiences across multiple screens. Indeed, banking customers are faster at conveying what they want than banks are at delivering the goods, bank technologists confided in a recent panel discussion.
Customers are in control today – quite a transformation from the not-so-distant past when banks waited for accountholders to call them. Being passive means being irrelevant, a space no financial institution wants to find itself in. The stats tell the story. Smartphones surpassed 125 million U.S. users in 2012 and tablets are owned by more than 50 million. One-of-three minutes online is now spent on devices beyond the PC.
Enter omnichannel banking
For financial institutions, “omnichannel” banking is forging the way forward for mobile. Forget the multi-channel days when banks concentrated on converting customers to the cheapest channel and strived to achieve a constant look across separate channels. With omnichannel banking, consumers interact across all channels and can research a home loan online, discuss it over video with a local branch loan officer and arrange for automated monthly payments using a mobile banking app.
Omnichannel banking delivers more customer engagement, more contact opportunity and, ultimately, a source of future growth. It’s another example of how mobile is transforming the banking landscape, reconstructing the industry to operate on customers’ terms.
The mobile banking craze is causing banks to think differently and to innovate. They’re rushing to provide the strategies and integrated services and systems needed to create the personalized mobile experiences their customers desire – along with the necessary security, of course.
Consumer surveys have highlighted the interest in real-time alerts, location-based offers and mobile payments. Some banks are offering virtual expertise with “ask-an-expert” service via the phone. Video is gaining mainstream support as a channel for advice and interaction. And more consumers are also looking to their banks to provide other banking services. For instance, an Aite Group survey indicates that the number of people using tablets to view their banking statements will reach an estimated 48 million by 2016, up from 10 million in 2012. The number of people using their tablets for balance queries is expected to double to 55 million by 2016, from 27 million estimated for 2013, according to Aite.
What’s next? Look for banks to enable consumers to use mobile to pay for goods and services via their smartphones. Expect smartphones to interact with ATMs, offering relevant, real-time loyalty and rewards programs. Anticipate that financial institutions will make it easier for customers with mobile to manage their money via their phones.
Being attentive to customer desires, banks will act more boldly in developing a global, mobile-enabled, person-to-person payments service that will shape the future. If banks don’t provide a secure mobile platform with a consistent customer experience across a variety of platforms and devices, someone else most certainly will. Mobile has put consumers in the driver’s seat.
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