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So you have mobile banking. What now?

2009 September 4

Mobile Banking in the US is table stakes. Period.

Maybe five bankers out of the last thousand I’ve spoken to would disagree. We’re now at a point where many banks have rolled out their initial mobile banking implementations and real users have adopted mobile banking.

Now what?

Now it’s time for mobile banking to grow up. Bankers now are faced with managing the mobile channel and growing its importance to the bank and to consumers.

Increasing adoption is certainly on the minds of many bankers. Mobile banking has to pay for itself and strong adoption is required. Most bankers are not satisfied with mobile banking adoption. They may be pleased with where they are so far, but few bankers would be comfortable if adoption were to level off.

Frankly, most implementations are still in the low single digits of adoption as compared to online banking users. Adoption at many institutions would drop below 1% if it were to be measured against the overall number of bank customers (very few banks will talk publicly about their adoption rates).

Do you support all your customers or just smartphone users,  SMS users, online bankers, or some smaller subset? Do employees in your branches use mobile banking? Can branch staff help users sign up? Can they even talk intelligently about mobile banking?

Innovation and evolution don’t stop with adoption. Banks spend millions in online banking analytics and web site redesigns to encourage more profitable activities by consumers. Getting mobile in place is just the beginning. Banks need to figure out what works for their consumers and what doesn’t and what to do about it.

Banks will spend millions this year in promoting mobile banking to their consumers. Banks will then find that many mobile features need significant improvement. Banks and vendors alike will need to do more work to determine what works and what doesn’t in the user experience and in the feature set.

Unfortunately, the risk is that users that try mobile and don’t like it will be doubly hard to convince to try again later. User Experience is vitally important. I think mobile user experience is even more important because users tend to use mobile apps in small chunks like checking a balance and paying a bill. It takes a lot of hard work to distill features down in to usable bite-sized chunks that can be done at a stoplight. (Although, I am not encouraging use while driving).

So you have mobile banking, how are you going to get 90% adoption?

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One Response leave one →
  1. Adam Green permalink
    September 4, 2009

    Good article, David. Hope you are well.

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