Mobile Retail Banking: Seeing Beyond the App to the Immense Opportunity
Every industry is being disrupted by rapid, consumer-friendly advances in mobile software. Banks understand digital transformation and most major US banks currently offer their customers some form of mobile banking.
But shifts in consumer expectations, disruptions by new, non-bank market entrants and other developments in mobile banking, payments and financial services, are eroding the existing banking model. Market share, once dominated by traditional financial institutions, is being challenged as quickly as the mobile banking experience is being transformed.
Technology has also evolved rapidly. We’ve seen the mainframe automation of financial accounts, changes to client-server and web infrastructure and cloud-based solutions. All of these technologies create exciting new experiences and business models.
As well, we’ve seen the role big data can play in banking strategy. Non-bank disruptors in the market have been particularly good at collecting and analyzing big data to develop targeted mobile consumer strategies that build their strategic advantage.
While many banks understand the need to have a mobile aspect to their services, becoming mobile-first is much more than turning existing financial services into an app. Mobile-first is about designing products for mobile phones or devices before making matching designs for traditional desktop and laptop computers. And, as to be expected, there are challenges:
- Legacy platforms often struggle to handle the heavier, highly dynamic workloads of mobile apps
- Mobile app usage is more intense than web app usage
- Downtime for upgrades or maintenance is much less tolerated by customers, necessitating seamless application updates
We believe making the transition to a mobile-first strategy can be a significant, but rewarding, move for large financial enterprises. But it requires an IT infrastructure that adopts an agile framework for development and can marshal real-time data and analytics on a grand scale. It also requires a new mind-set at the business and organizational levels to embrace the same agile thinking, decision-making and collaborative spirit.