Most financial institutions understand the importance of hopping aboard the mobile train. After all, that train is running on some serious steam – in fact, research from the Pew Center Research now shows nearly three in five American adults own a smartphone.
Yet, banks and credit unions still haven’t taken full advantage of the opportunities available. From the end of 2012 to the end of 2013, use of mobile apps increased 31 percent overall, according to a Nielsen study. However, the same study discloses financial app use went up only 10 percent during the same time period.
Perhaps that growth was so modest because many finance apps are so limited – typically set up for routing business like checking a balance, locating the nearest ATM or making a deposit. Don’t get me wrong; these are great features. But as more and more digital natives are exploring financial institutions to do business with, the expectations will change. Faster transactions. Better experience.
These aren’t new concepts; just a new platform. Websites became a competitive necessity for banks a decade or so ago and now mobile is becoming the same.
Jim Marous, co-publisher of The Financial Brand and publisher of the Digital Banking Report, recently highlighted 10 key digital banking trends that will emerge in 2015. While there are lots of good, relevant insights in his analysis of this crowdsourced study, one of these findings focuses on a mobile-first design. Marous writes that “the digital consumer wants the simplicity, contextuality, time savings and entertainment value offered by Amazon, Uber, Waze and their favorite retailer’s mobile app.”
Apps can’t only provide information or a service; they need to give the user an experience that makes their life easier.
Hear that whistle? The digital natives are coming. It’s time to get on board the mobile train before it leaves the station (and your financial institution) in the dust.