Innovative m-banking to transform customer experience

by Sohini Bagchi    Aug 01, 2013

mobile strategy

The future of banking is clearly mobile, as industry pundits have predicted. With newer innovative features and advance security systems, m-banking is taking off in a big way. Banks have realized that in order to retain and acquire customers, m-banking is the way to go. A joint study conducted by Cognizant and Monitise Plc further substantiates that consumers are increasingly expecting banks to help improve their mobile lifestyles. This represents a new opportunity for retail banks to drive customer loyalty, attract new business, and generate more revenue by providing diverse experiences to customers. As Vin Malhotra, Consulting Partner for Banking and Financial Services, Cognizant Business Consulting notes, “Amid the growing proliferation of digital channels and rapidly evolving consumer behavior, retail banks can no longer afford to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach in devising and enhancing their mobile strategies.”

Interest in remote check deposit and real-time alerts on account activity are important features across segments that could induce consumers to switch banks. “Providing innovative, round-the-clock mobile services based on consumer segmentation will enable banks to not only run better by maximizing their investments, but also run differently by strengthening customer engagement and driving greater adoption of mobile banking for competitive differentiation,” says Malhotra.

More customized user experiences

The need for a customized experience will continue to drive mobile commerce, believe experts. “As affordable mobile devices and broadband plans are driving the growth of mobile banking services, banking CIOs need to focus on building secured, customized and innovative banking applications for customers,” says Rathin De, GM – IT, ADC and CMS at United bank of India. For instance, he believes customer feedback and queries offered in local language will encourage customers to interact with a banking app similar to a conversation with a bank customer service representative.

The Cognizant study also found that both tablets and smartphones are becoming preferred choice for m-banking and customers want features optimized to suit each device’s form factor. For example, feature personalization like rearranging tabs and functions is also important to more than 75% of the consumers surveyed. The study notes offering this flexibility can give banks a competitive edge and help retain customers.

Consumers are seeking services that drive security, ease mobile payment use and provide insights on spending and bill payment patterns, and they’re willing to invest in these products. More than one-third of consumers surveyed are willing to pay for advanced security features such as biometrics and nearly 30% of respondents indicated a willingness to pay for mobile payment capabilities. By offering discounts and offers from retailers on consumers’ mobile devices, retail banks can increase mobile payment traffic. In many economies consumers are also open to using social networking features on mobile banking apps/Web sites for accessing information on new products and sharing opinions.

Overcoming challenges

Although the m-banking revolution is happening in a big way, there needs to be a greater effort from banks and telecom service providers to step in to foster customer awareness and strengthen the security for mobile-based transactions. They need to be assured that mobile is the future of banking. Currently, banking organizations are innovating around mobile initiatives to offer an enhanced experience to customers. several banks have been partnering with service providers to offer secured mobile banking services in rural and remote areas.

Mobile solutions provider, eMudhra for example, offers a digital signature-based authentication solution to secure mobile and internet banking mediums. Ravi Jagannathan, Vice Chairman eMudhra believes the current issues like awareness and security can be addressed by creating an ecosystem where all stakeholders including the government, telecom operators, solution providers, banks and customers can help revolutionize mobile payment system in India,” he says.

Jagannathan believes if facilitated by regulation and right business model, diverse m-banking services can offer a new dimension to customer experience.