Reality Check

With all the talk, talk, talk about mobile banking I started wondering what’s truly happening in the mobile banking space. It was nice to finally find a report on mobile applications that could give me a window on reality.

The report, from My Private Banking, benchmarked over 200 mobile apps offered by 50 significant international banks. Besides showing which banks were performing best from a mobile standpoint, it also highlighted which mobile platforms and devices have been most used for mobile banking. Deutsche Bank and the French bank Caisse d’ Epargne were praised highest  for the qualities their apps provided such as comprehensiveness and integration with other online media.

Not surprisingly, a majority of the banking apps available have been created for the iPhone, but Android apps are hard to find. What was most striking about the report, however, was the sheer number of available apps (and they continue to grow) that, regrettably, banks aren’t even using.

Banks are quite simply not utilizing the power of client connection that mobility could provide them. In the not so distant past this would be just  another, ‘oh well’ moment, but in light of how mobility has become the de facto way to connect with clients under the age of thirty and the only way to connect with potential customers on some continents – it’s now a reason for real concern.

Mobile apps are here to stay. How banks set up their use now could have far reaching consequences for future mobile policies and even influence a bank’s overall online experience. Banks would do well to use mobility to ‘engage customers, market their products and strengthen their brand.’ Soon, those using mobile to interact with their bank will eclipse those using PCs.  It seems to me that the time to create an engaging mobile experience for banking customers is right now.

Sara Palmbush

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