Nowadays everyone can feel how new technologies change and affect their lives. If we think about how rapidly mobile bank technologies are developing, then we can see future tendencies in this field. We know that everyone wants to do things easier and faster. We appreciate that we can save time on such an important and necessary thing as making money transactions. Speed, quality and , beyond all, security are all very important issues in the market for banking applications nowadays.
The user count is growing
Statistics show that there is a sharp increase in the number of people who use their mobile phones, tablets, computers for making money transfers each year. Based on the recent ING study “How do you prefer to pay? Mobile money trends in Europe, USA and Australia”, 61% out of the 90% of all respondents have used their smartphones for conducting their regular banking operations. This increase is impressive because last year there were only 48% of the people from roughly the same sample size, who used their smartphones for the same reasons. Moreover, a study shows that 65% of European respondents have used a mobile device for account balance checking or making transactions. This data clearly indicates the growing importance of mobile as a service delivery channel, as the number of users preferring to do their errands on mobile increase each year.
Interestingly enough, a large portion of the respondents also said that in the past year they have tried mobile services of multiple financial service providers, not limiting themselves to the mobile bank application of one particular bank. This indicates, that large portions of users may not be so loyal anymore and are willing to shop around, looking for better options. In fact, 42% in Europe, 46% in the US, and 31% in Australia confirmed doing so.
Why are they switching?
The real question is – what could be the likely drivers of such behavior? Are these financial offers (like money transfer commissions, brokerage commissions, etc.) themselves that drive such behavior? Or customers just want better and more convenient digital experiences and so are willing to try out other financial service providers who can provide better experiences?
Research suggests that people who are actively shopping around for alternative financial service providers are doing so primarily because alternative financial service providers were able to offer much better digital experiences than their competitors (large banks, mostly).
This creates a lot of competitive pressure for banks, as now they are increasingly forced to compete in the dimension that historically wasn’t so important to the banking business (technology and experiences that can be created by using it right). To remain competitive in this rapidly changing landscape, banks might want to shift their thinking paradigm and focus more on the experience that their users truly want from their services.
What to focus on?
Below are the 5 most important things that we believe you need to consider when building your own online banking system:
1. User experience
Some experts suggest that user experience is a critical and often the most overlooked part of any digital product. In essence, to create a great user experience, organizations need to focus on saving time for their users, as well as removing any potential obstacles to a user having a seamless experience with the service. Nowadays, with an increasing amount of choice customers have, by failing to provide a seamless experience your organization could easily be sending your most loyal customers to your competitiors who are much better at creating seamless experiences than your organization is.
2. Limitations of existing infrastructure
One of the nasty limitations your organization might come across while working on improving user experience are technical restrictions of your current infrastructure. Maybe you have a plethora of legacy systems that are not really meant to be connected with something modern, light and nimble, like Node.JS. Maybe your current systems do not allow real-time execution of payments and that impedes your ability to provide a superior user experience. Whatever those limitations are, you need to be very well aware of them and working around them, if it is absolutely necessary, in order to create an excellent user experience. There are small and nimble mobile bank platforms that allow you to build mobile bank as independent from the current banking infrastructure as possible.
From a business perspective, one of the most important things to get clear about right from the beginning is why customers should use your mobile bank application. What are its distinct advantages over all the alternative solutions on the market? In the modern age of digital hyper-competitiveness, this question becomes more important than ever, and having a clear answer might make or break the product for you. Whatever solution you choose, it’s important that you choose the one that is highly adaptable and can be tailored accordingly to match your business strategy.
4. Mobile platforms
There is little sense in building a mobile application, which will be used rarely (if ever at all). Therefore it would be wise to realistically assess your userbase before building any mobile applications. If most of your userbase uses iPhones, it might make sense to start with an iPhone mobile bank application only, and later adding another platform (Android, for example), when a userbase for this platform will gradually increase. It is important to foresee these events and choose a mobile bank platform that allows to gradually add different mobile channels on the fly, without having to modify or change anything in the core installation.
5. Competitive financial services
And, of course, let’s not forget the core services that any financial institution provides. Having an excellent user experience is great, but at the end of the day it is still an “order winner”, not a “qualifier”, therefore lack of competitiveness of the financial services cannot be compensated by an excellent user experience. You still have to focus on providing competitive and attractive financial services to your customers, because that’s what they are searching for. However, having an excellent user experience on top of relevant and competitive financial services will give your offering that extra sweet taste that will make your customers want to choose your offering over your competitors.
The future of mobile banking is definitely a turbulent one. New technologies emerge weekly, if not daily, and it is very hard to maintain focus and stay on top of the information flow in such a rapidly changing environment. Having these 5 recommendations in mind when building your mobile banking platform will help you create a truly outstanding financial service, the one that attracts the attention of your users and helps your organization stand out from the competition.
If you want to learn more about definitive UI/UX when building mobile applications, you can check out our P2P Mobile Payments app project we did back in 2015.