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Banks evolving their mobile strategies, but communications with customers are outmoded

Ongoing global research from BuzzCity reveals that mobile banking continues to increase, but a skewed approach to communications means banking customers are confused as to the range of features and services available to them. And although nearly all banks now offer mobile banking services, marketing efforts to communicate to their customers remain traditional, with TV cited as the most used medium for promotions (42%).

The correlation between customers failing to grasp online banking juxtaposes with increased emphasis on TV campaigns. Only 16% of marketing spend was placed on mobile advertising, a decrease of 10% from 2013 and less is spent on radio and newspaper – 9% respectively. Banks are failing to communicate on the very devices they are offering their services on.

Mobile banking boom and progression, but still work to do

Almost half of all mobile users now use their mobile for financial transactions; a growth of 60% from 2013 (26%) to 2015 (42%). If uptake remains at the current rate, it is expected that all mobile users will bank online within the next year. Although nearly all banks provide some form of mobile banking service – still over one in ten (15%) don’t believe that facilities are available to them, a third (35%) have yet to use their mobiles for banking services with a third again ‘planning to do so’.

Mobile payments have overtaken the use of credit and debit cards globally – 17% now use cards compared to 24% using mobile payments.

Education & Awareness

The challenge of the evolving technology will remain but most banks now offer app services, along with SMS services. It is predicted that banks will continue to develop more possibilities in terms of services and evolve their offerings, including fingerprint scanning as the functionality of smartphones increase.

Despite the advancements in mobile banking, one in four users (26%) continue to have concerns about security – a decrease of 10% from 2013, signalling a shift change. One in four (23%) also believe that their mobile device is not suitable for online banking. With most phones now capable of mobile banking, banks need to better educate their customers on how they can use their online services and in safety, as more services will be developed as the functionality of smartphones increase. More services will always mean new fears – so education will be an ongoing process, across all touch points.

Where are the banks failing?

“This skewed approach that many banks place on TV advertising is failing to engage their own customers” says DR KF Lai, founder and CEO at BuzzCity. “By focusing all efforts on just one channel of communication and not the actual devices that their customers are using every minute of every day the banks are clearly missing opportunities. This is integral to building relationships and trust with their audiences”.

The ongoing task of education and awareness is key for banks to target their customers, with the ongoing security fears, lack of knowledge about the services available to them and lack of understanding to their service requirements are surprisingly prevalent. Acknowledging and acting quickly on this will benefit banks as this boom is certainly set to continue.