The continuous connectivity of consumers to their smartphones does not stop at social media, email or mCommerce. Nearly two-thirds of consumer banks offer customers a mobile banking app.
Today’s financial institutions have launched apps that allow customers to view their balances (74 percent of mobile banking activity), view transactions (63 percent), transfer money between accounts (55 percent), pay a bill (38 percent), find ATM locations (32 percent), deposit checks, which were all activities that were once done in person at branch banking locations. Now, customers pay for purchases at retailers, restaurants, entertainment events and transportation with the tap of a screen.
Mobile banking has steadily grown to 56 percent of all banking transaction starting on a mobile device. The “2015 Bank of America Trends in Consumer Mobility Report” found that fifty-seven percent of those surveyed have tried mobile banking apps, “while more than half use either mobile or online as their primary method of banking.” The majority of mobile banking app customers (81 percent) use notifications and alerts – especially Gen X users who are more likely to receive alerts than any other user (91 percent). Fewer than one-fourth and only six percent of younger Millennials do their banking at a brick-and-mortar branch location.
More than six in 10 people access their mobile banking app multiple times per week with twenty percent visiting the app at least once per day. According to research by Chase, “More than half (54%) [of consumers] use their mobile banking app at work.” One in 10 even visit banking apps during client meetings.
“The next generation of Financial Services will be fundamentally different. Our duty is not to fight the disruption, but to embrace it. The journey to fairer, faster, ubiquitous and global access to value has just begun.”
– Matteo Rizzi co-founded Innotribe and Partner in SBT Venture Capital
Advancements in Mobile Technology
Touch ID for iOS is a favorite new feature for mobile banking customers on iPhones. While secure transactions still require an additional authentication via password or mobile pin, many app features can be accessed via Touch ID. Android will release fingerprint scanning later this year, and that has Android developers very excited.
Wearables present a great opportunity to be where the consumer needs them most with the simplest of feature sets such as alerts, branch locators and balance inquiries. Wearables have also given smaller banks a chance to join the playing field – offering a coveted technology to consumers who want it most. When Apple Watch launched, not one of the banking apps launched with it were by any national banking institution. Each app was owned by a small community bank, with only Citi publicly announcing its intentions to develop an app. Since then, Discover and Fidelity have also developed apps for Apple Watch.
Mobile Payments are now gaining traction with the launch of new services like Apple Pay and Android Pay. According to its 2014 World Payments Report, Capgemini believed mobile payments would grow “at 60.8 percent in 2015.” As consumers look for faster and more flexible ways of making payments, banking institutions are realizing the need for new products that meet those expectations.
Even though most people see Bitcoin as a novelty, financial institutions like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, UBS, Royal Bank of Scotland and more are getting involved in the space to see if they could benefit from “blockchain” technology. The hope is to standardize the process of updating payment ledgers and making money transfers via a networked distributed ledger that doesn’t rely on a central authority, but rather the information of involved counterparties.