Amit Aghara, Vice President of Product Management,Kony, Inc.
Many financial services organisations have recognised that mobility is a key growth driver. Compared to other sectors, the global financial services industry has been at the forefront of mobile adoption. In developed regions, research has indicated that mobile banking is growing at a fast pace, with nearly 50% of the US population forecasted to adopt mobile banking by 2016.
The benefits of adopting a holistic enterprise mobile strategy are clear. It includes the provision of a compelling banking experience to all customers, across any device in any region. Secondly, a considered mobile strategy will improve customer retention by 20% for customers who interact over mobile channels. Finally, it could provide the ability to reduce operational costs by up to 90%, based upon customers who use mobile.
Given that many progressive financial services companies, whether insurers or banks, are relatively bullish about the opportunities for mobile technology to improve their customer relations and organisational agility, there are challenges that still remain.
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Adopting a Holistic View:
Despite the high ‘sector adoption rates’ of mobile, the uptake has been predominately within the consumer retail-banking sector. This is understandable, given it is normally the largest customer segment, but this narrowcast view of mobile has dominated the industry. Organisations need to lookholistically at the potential of mobile across the enterprise. For example, companies may have commercial or investment customers, as well as a partner channel of independent financial advisors. Beyond that, large sections of their own employees will have a requirement for integrated mobile applications, to support the customer account management function.
Another challenge for financial sector firms is a lack of true understanding of how mobile is ‘consumed’ by the audience. Bad examples, and there are some, consist of taking the interface and experience that exists on the desktop, and transferring it to a mobile environment. This approach does not take account people’s mobile needs, and is prone to failure.
Banks have complex integration requirements, but to make things work for mobile, it is vital to access core banking systems and back-end customer information, so that the right information can be accessed and used in the mobile environment. Making this information available on mobile has security considerations, for both ‘conservative’ financial organisations, and for some sections of the customer base.
Given the context and the challenges, here are fourkey tips for making mobile work:
- Understand Mobile Behaviour:
Do your customer research, ideally with a third party, to understand how your customers, partners and staff want to use mobile. It’s important that you understand their likes and dislikes.Build your analysis into your plans. Develop and trial the applications, and ensure that you are learning and responding as feedback is provided. Platform agility is key and you need to be responsive at every step. Creating a trusted ecosystem of business, customer behaviour and technology experts will ensure that you build the right mobile strategy and applications.
- Brand Consistency:
Creating a single consistent brand across all your stakeholder groups is key. The goal should be to ensure a single customer experience, regardless of what type of customer, partner and employee you are targeting, in whatever region and on whatever device. Building a consistent mobile experience will support your customer growth and enhance your overall reputation.
- Evolutionary Approach:
Your business requirements are always evolving. It is important that the mobile applicationsare able to respond to change as you capture process improvements. The business needs to be flexible enough to integrate these evolving changes, as they happen. Business analysts need to be able to change or update the application, without the need to ask IT for support. Learn from your own analysis, look at your competitors, start somewhere and build organically.
- Analytics and Insight:
Launching your enterprise app is not the end; it’s just the beginning. The business needs to measure the project’s ROI and to what extent it’s a profitable venture. Initially, this needs to be measured by the extent of access to the customer accounts and then the extent of access to the customer transactions. Finally,it needs to measure the degree to which this channel is supporting cross-sell and new revenue opportunities. As the programme progresses, what changes need to be made to ensure that all the three measurement criteria are exceeded.
The growth of mobile will continue to impact the global financial services world. New technology and services can enable anywhere and anytime access to relevant information, but organisations needs to understand the nuances of mobile behaviour, be consistent with their mobile branding, evolve and refine their approach and ensure that the correct analytics is being applied to ensure overall project success.