Satisfying the Craving for Mobile Banking

Mobile banking is quickly becoming a standard capability that consumers expect from their financial institution. Understanding how consumers use mobile, and how it supplements other channels, are keys to a successful multi-channel banking strategy. Steve Shaw Vice President, Strategic Marketing at Fiserv offers a nutritional analogy to help consumers and financial institutions make the most of mobile.

"Mobile banking is like snacking," says Shaw. "It’s convenient, bite-sized nutrition that consumers can put in their pocket to satisfy their financial hunger in around 60 seconds."

Shaw sees technology enabling a longer term transformational shift in consumer behavior. For example, few consumers travel to the branch just to check their balance anymore. As ATMs became ubiquitous, they provided a much more convenient way for customers to check their balance outside the branch. Now, as smartphone adoption skyrockets, mobile consumers can stay on top of their balances at the airport or on the train – anywhere you could munch on a candy bar.

Mobile banking is more than just balance checking, of course. Consumers are using it for last minute bill payments and account-to-account transfers, often driven by alerts via text message or mobile apps.

While mobile sophistication continues to evolve with consumer demands and technological innovation, there are some financial needs that remain better satisfied by the online channel.

Regular, structured activity like comparing products, researching rates, and managing budgets are more suited to online banking. These activities, usually performed on a weekly or monthly basis, are more akin to “lunching” according to Shaw.

"The online channel provides a square meal," Shaw says. "It’s conducive to routine transactions but also gives people the ability to carry out structured activities like managing and monitoring their spending against budgets."

Finally, Shaw says the branch is a "fine dining" experience – where a handshake and eye-to-eye contact from a financial professional are important. This could include life-stage planning, business loans, and other critical financial decisions that require or benefit from professional consultation.

Channel interaction behavior does not always follow a straight line however, and consumers may cross many different channels on the way to their final destination. Because of this, Shaw says banks must provide meaningful interaction capabilities suited to the medium and also make sure the information presented is consistent across all touch points.

"Just as we increasingly want quicker, tastier snacks to sustain us when we’re busy, we’re expecting the same thing from our banking experience," Shaw says. "We also expect these channels to offer different features and functionality and for each one to know what the other is doing."

Due to our growing affinity for snack-size services, financial institutions have much to consider when it comes to better pleasing consumers. Any bank that smartly delivers specialized capabilities within each channel while seamlessly coordinating information across channels will ultimately have a winning menu.

To learn more, download the Executive Briefing Paper – "Snacking, Lunching and Fine Dining: How Mobile is Reshaping Every Banking Channel."

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