Unless you’ve been living under a car phone for the last year, you know that mobile technology is revolutionizing finance. And it’s gaining momentum fast. The latest advances make Internet banking look like a horse and buggy solution. Mobile deposits, remote deposit capture, banking apps and others are turning the industry on its head. The revolution is catching the industry by surprise, happening faster than most regulators and bank boards would like.
Quick message to the luddites out there: Get over it. The genie’s out of the bottle and there’s no turning back.
Take a look at the latest annual retail banking report from J.D. Power & Associates. The study, which was based on responses from nearly 52,000 retail banking customers regarding their experiences with their banking provider, offers more evidence that the delivery of banking products and services will simply never be the same.
According to the study, mobile applications represent one of the fastest-growing transaction channels available to banking customers, and while adoption remains sporadic, generational differences have clearly emerged. For example, 23% of Generate X and Y customers (those born after 1964) report that they use mobile banking, up from just 11% last year.
“Generation X and Y customers embrace opportunities to perform banking activities at their convenience, unrestricted by traditional banking hours,” said Michael Beird, director of banking services at J.D. Power and Associates.
Still not convinced? How about new data that suggests 1 in 10 Americans — or 30 million — accessed financial services accounts (bank, credit card or brokerage) via their mobile device in the fourth quarter of 2010. That represents a 54% increase in just 12 months, according to comScore’s quarterly Mobile Financial Advisor report.
“The ubiquitous nature of mobile devices affords financial brands an important channel to reach and engage customers, whether its at home, work or on-the-go,” comScore’s Sarah Lenart told The Financial Brand. “In this competitive market, marketers will need to focus on continually improving the mobile customer experience to the changing landscape.”
Of course, the ramifications are enormous. Setting aside the brick-and-mortar issues or the security and fraud concerns, think of how this changes your delivery system.
Your business is lending, which you fund through deposits. Your deposits only stick when their owners are happy. And depositors are happy when they save time by executing routine, mundane banking tasks (pay bills, deposit checks, review statements, etc.) any time, any place they want.
So it appears that making customers happy is the key to banking.
And if you’re not getting this message, you better have your antenna checked.