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How banks can leverage data to provide a better mobile banking customer experience

By Bhaskar Banerjee, Global Channels Centre of Excellence Manager in Capgemini Financial Services

Bhaskar Banerjee
Bhaskar Banerjee

Consumers are turning to their mobile devices now more than ever to facilitate daily tasks such as checking bank statements, comparing prices of products and paying for items. United Kingdom retail sales of goods and services enabled via mobile devices have been projected to more than double, hitting £8.17bn, equivalent to an 18 per cent share of total ecommerce sales according to data compiled by eMarketer.

Banks have come to realise that mobile is not just a fleeting trend and that it actually provides an opportunity to differentiate themselves amongst competitors, both banks and non-banks.  However, banks will need to do more than simply provide a mobile offering to stand out.

In 2014 banks will need to understand the importance of data and how it can be used effectively within the mobile channel to ensure they remain relevant and competitive to existing and new customers.

Meeting customer expectations

Customer expectations of what banks can provide via mobile are growing exponentially due to the proliferation of technology, specifically with tablets and smartphones.  Customers have come to expect user friendly banking and e-commerce mobiles apps that are able to provide an attractive environment for them to check their account balances, transfer funds, and facilitate bill and retail payments.

However, while many banks now offer online and mobile offerings to customers they run the risk of losing their customers or the inability to attract new ones if they don’t have relevant and easy to use mobile and online offerings.

Better mobile banking lies in relevant data 

The secret to providing a relevant and differentiated banking experience lies in how banks leverage customer data. According to eMarketer across the globe the social media user base is expected to increase from 1.47 billion in 2012 to 2.55 billion in 2017. This growth allows banks the opportunity to look at how they can combine social media with mobile banking to provide real-time, personalised services that deliver an enhanced customer experience.

Customer information, or customer context, is primarily driven by data which is pulled from two main sources. The first type of data is stored in the banking system in the form of transactions, interactions, incidents, product holdings and past records. The other source of data, referred to as customer social content, resides in the bank’s various blogs, Twitter account and Facebook feeds.

Banks will need to take the review of customer data one step further and take a holistic approach to the information available, leveraging both customer context and social content, to provide customised offerings.

How banks can use customer data

Analysing and utilising customer data is fairly easy as it is structured. With the use of suitable business rules the data can be churned to provide customer views and insight. The real challenge lies in synthesising customer social data and context. However, banks are employing various social insight tools, such as Social Mention and Radian6, to transform the social data into intuitive information; they can then use to bolster real-time actions, providing the ability to engage with customers on a more personal level.

Many banks have adopted Facebook and Twitter as their new customer interaction channels to help them further understand the pulse of their customer. Ultimately having a single view of customer enables banks to deliver personalised services to customers. Banks have integrated mobile banking to orchestrate interactions originating on Facebook and Twitter and have then moved them to cross-channels, to complete the fulfillment of the service cycle, such as a complaint originating on Twitter and then being picked up then handled by the customer service team.

Additionally, ICICI Bank has developed a mobile banking application called “Pockets” with Facebook. The app allows customers to log into Facebook and transfer money to friends using the “Pay a Friend” option or share expenses by opting to use “Split n Share”. These customer friendly applications interface with the social media and also provide the bank with an opportunity to acquire new customers and promote marketing offers through Facebook referrals.

Next steps for banks

Mobile banking is becoming one of the most prominent touch points for customers, offering a host of value services with increased flexibility and at minimal cost.

Although some of these innovations might look disruptive at first sight they offer beneficial opportunities for customers, banks and potential strategic alliances between credit card providers including MasterCard and Visa, Payment Service Providers like Google, PayPal and Amazon and mobile operators such as Deutsche Telekom, O2, Vodafone etc.

Presently, the most important roadmap for banks is to define a scalable, mobile strategy that is capable of industrialising mobile banking innovations across the entire banking value chain. This will enable banks to exponentially increase their return on investment by providing mobile best practice and information to direct selling agents, third party fulfillment partners and internal staff. This in turn enables the ecosystem of parties across the bank to provide a relevant and consistent customer experience.