Embracing 'Mobile First' But How?

faisal

When you want to know what’s playing at the movie theatre, or what’s the latest score of the big game, what’s your first instinctive action to find out this information? For most people, and in particular for the millennial, the most instinctive action is to use their mobile phone to access the Internet. Whether they’re consuming apps, video, text, or images to provide this data, what is now abundantly clear is that the mobile phone has fast become the indispensable tool of our species.

“Amazon knows this, Google, Facebook, and WhatsApp know it, and Uber definitely knows it.”

Our love for information on the move has made the mobile phone the channel of all channels – be it for small tribes in Africa or for the tech savvy entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. Amazon knows this, Google, Facebook and WhatsApp know this, and Uber definitely knows it. These are companies who have embraced the ‘Mobile First’phenomenon, and have evolved their business model and processes to support the new defacto in commerce.

“It’s not an easy task, and it takes more than a few strategy meetings to fully embrace those two words – ‘Mobile First’.”

With the rise of mobile banking, in additional to tech startups, financial institutions have also begun to adapt to the step change in consumer behavior. A new spate of mobile first banks like Moven and Simple have already begun to pave the way forward, and slowly the traditional giants that dominate the industry are making attempts to change and embrace the inevitable. It’s not an easy task, and it takes more than a few strategy meetings to fully embrace those words, ‘Mobile First’.

 “It sounds like we should focus on making our mobile banking better, easier, and with more features.”

For many bankers, ‘mobile first’ doesn’t really sound like much of a discussion topic. It’salready obvious to bankers that it’s a necessity to focus on developing mobile banking to be better, easier, and with more features. However, mobile first is actually less involved with devices and more involved with changing the banking business model.

‘Mobile First’is a huge step for consumers, but it is truly a giant step for bankers. Traditional bankers come from an extremely structured background and over the centuries have developed certain distribution models, policies and processes that have rarely been challenged by a superior alternative. The mobile phone has changed this ideal and as its relevance and influence becomes more obvious day by day; bankers are beginning to dissolve the rulebook and reinvent policies from scratch.

 “The problem with banks that show a willingness to embrace mobile first is that often they face huge barriers…”

 The problem with banks that show a willingness to embrace ‘Mobile First’is that often they face huge barriers with existing policies, processes, and legacy systems that were never designed or implemented with this type of model in mind. Often, trying to change and migrate from an existing system and process to a new, mobile first model is more difficult than merely beginning a “greenfield project” to build a new bank altogether.

 “If you could create a new bank on a limited budget, you are more likely to get ‘Mobile First’ right.”

 If you could create a new bank on a limited budget, you are more likely to get ‘Mobile First’right.The reason for this is because all initial thinking in creating this new bank would be aligned to optimizing and ensuring the user experience is efficient through the mobile phone.

 “In essence, the banker of tomorrow is going to have to be more like a CEO of a technology startup…”

 The strategies for the Product Development and Sales team need to transform as the ‘Mobile First’ generation will flourish on a whole new level of straight new automation that renders many jobs in the retail banking industry as obsolete. In essence, the banker of tomorrow is going to have to be more like a CEO of a technology startup, with rich awareness of what technology can do, and how it can be used to build the best customer experiences. The ‘Mobile First’revolution has truly arrived, and with it the transformation of banking starts with the bankers’ responsibility for its destiny.

 “Think less ‘clicks’, ‘swipes’, or screen taps’ and think more beautiful graphic interfaces.”

 Every element of the customer experience has changed, and all the processes and people skills required to make it happen are disrupting the banker’s mindset. In a ‘Mobile First’organization the primary responsibilities of programmers, data scientists, and UX designersis to make the customer happy, and the more friction removed from the overall experience, the better your customer will perceive you. Forget sales incentives and commissions, and how close the nearest branch is. Think less ‘’clicks’, ‘swipes,’ or ‘screen taps,’ and think more beautiful graphic interfaces.

 “What was once an ‘alternative channel’ is now the ‘primary channel.’”

 Banking hierarchies today are being challenged, and the banking experience is becoming less about how things are going to be done. What was once an ‘alternative channel’ is now the ‘primary channel’. A number of global banks have gone so far as to say that when they hire talent for developing their digital transformation, they do not want people with banking experience, but rather those who have worked in a ‘Mobile First’industry and can bring much of the culture and mindset of tech companies to the banking industry.