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Mobile Banking is a New Channel, requires organizational Transformation

2009 December 14
Mobile banking requires transformation

Mobile banking requires transformation

Most institutions offering mobile banking have found mobile banking to be a new banking channel, not just an add-on module to online banking.

Thinking of mobile banking as a separate channel requires transformational changes within the bank which oftentimes are overlooked during planning phases.

Many banks start their mobile initiatives in a small way, thinking of mobile banking as an add-on to online banking. This is especially true for banks that do only mobile web (WAP) which often is implemented as a derivative of existing OLB content. As usage increases, it often becomes very clear that mobile banking is used in different ways, requires different approaches to serving users, and requires a different set of resources than other channels in the bank.

Look at your online banking organizational structures. Imagine not having any of these people or processes in place while having 10% of your customer base already using the channel.

Furthermore, institutions discover that their existing organizations must evolve to support this new channel just as they did when online banking was new. Discovering this organizational need after implementation can cause a host of issues in supporting customers, security, and planning for future enhancements.

Look at your online banking organizational structures. Imagine not having any of these people or processes in place while having 10% of your customer base already using the channel. It’s a recipe for unhappy customers, security breaches, burnt-out employees, and losing ground to the competition.

Institutions need to plan for changes in their support organizations when they’re planing their mobile banking channels. Mobile will change how almost every part of the bank does business.

  • How will line of business teams manage the various mobile modes (SMS, WAP, native applications)? Reporting, analytics, etc.?
  • What technology teams will support the mobile modes? Does anyone have skills in each of the mobile technologies in the bank?
  • What training & support do branch tellers need?
  • How do we train telephone customer support representatives?
  • How will marketing campaigns promote mobile?
  • How will marketing campaigns take advantage of mobile technology?
  • How can social media help promote mobile?
  • In what order will other lines of business start using mobile?
  • How will mobile affect product pricing?
  • How do you calculate the value and/or cost of mobile to the bank?

Customers are adopting mobile banking much faster than they moved into online banking. Mobile banking is clearly a requirement for all banks and credit unions. Banks and credit unions just starting to consider mobile now have little margin for error. Now banks don’t have the luxury of figuring out how to support mobile after you launch it like the early adopters did.

Do you know how your organization must change? Do you have people with the skills to manage, support, and train others on mobile banking?

How will you do it?

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One Response leave one →
  1. Paul Iemma permalink
    December 16, 2009

    Great points David.

    I think another salient fact of the mobile financial space is the lack of customer training expertise on the part of some mobile technology vendors. There are mobile software vendors that announce new products that are not fully deployable. Half baked is a better term.

    Banks that do not have the necessary knowledge experts in this field get sold a “bill of goods” on the robustness of the vendor’s platform only to subsequently find out that it is a lot of “smoke and mirrors”. This currently is a space were Caveat Emptor needs to the operative phrase.

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