How the Mobile Channel Can Drive Growth, Retention and Revenue

Most financial institutions evaluate ROI for the mobile channel in terms of increased customer retention and acquisition, reduced channel costs and an uptick in revenue-enhancing activities, such as debit card use and person-to-person payments. While each of these are important, an additional mobile value generator – cross-selling – is gaining traction as banks and credit unions look for more ways to use mobile banking to grow deposits and increase wallet share.

How the Mobile Channel Can Drive Growth, Retention and Revenue Using the mobile channel, product offers and general content can be cost-effectively delivered to the right customers at the right time, driving organic growth and customer retention – and ultimately increasing revenue. The Point talked to Matt Krogstad, vice president for mobile banking and payments for Bank of the West, about how the bank is messaging through the mobile channel to enhance the customer experience and improve engagement.

What is Bank of the West's mobile banking strategy?

Bank of the West is known for its customer service, so it's crucial that our key differentiator is evident whether a customer is interacting with us on mobile, in a branch or through any of our other channels. We want our customers to be just as comfortable on the mobile channel as they are when they come into the branch to see their banker.

You recently became one of the first banks in the country to enable cross-sell capabilities through the mobile channel. Can you tell us about that?

Bank of the West recently began a dynamic messaging program to deliver "tappable" tailored offers and content on our pre-login mobile app screen. We push intuitive, contextual messages to a customer based on their profile, activities and attributes. It's a far more powerful way to engage than a blanket, generic message that may be irrelevant or even irritating to some customers. In some instances, we use "tap to call" messages to invite customers to learn more by calling us via our dedicated call center. When Bank of the West has employed this feature, we've seen an uptick in new business, such as loan applications, that we may not have otherwise seen. I think this is a good example of showcasing our end-to-end customer service, which may start with mobile, perhaps lead to a call center and end with a conversation at a branch.

Is this only about cross-selling additional products?

Not at all. In fact, we've found that customers enjoy engaging with us through the mobile channel in non-sales experiences as well. For example, following some of the retail consumers' data compromises earlier this year, we added a message about digital fraud prevention. In response, Bank of the West saw a ten-fold increase in viewership of our security videos. With spring home-buying season underway, we've received very good feedback to messages we've displayed to likely first-time homebuyers, which link to videos about renting versus homeownership. It's not rocket science − we can quickly tell if a message resonates with our customers because they either tap on the message or they don't. Based on their actions, we can target our future messaging to continuously refine and improve the experience.

Is ROI achievable for the mobile channel?

Mobile ROI is two-fold. There is a return on investment that a financial institution can quantify – increases in customer profitability, customer retention, a lower cost to serve – but there's also a part of ROI that's not quantifiable, but equally important. Bank of the West has experienced an incredible return from the recognition and excitement that comes from being seen as an innovator by our customers, prospective clients, employees and recruits. Adding useful, interactive and convenient capabilities to mobile banking not only boosts the channel's ROI, but also demonstrates to our customers that we understand their current needs and are working to anticipate their future needs. Plus, it makes the Bank an exciting, rewarding place to work, which is a pretty good combination.

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