Mobile Banking Survey: 6 Actions Every Bank Should Consider
Consumers are using mobile devices for banking more than ever. The introduction of Apple Pay, which gives iPhone users the ability to make payments directly from their smartphones, makes mobile application development even more complex for banks.
The results of a survey conducted for CSC serve as a basis for six suggested actions banks should take to deal with the complexities of app development and maintain customer satisfaction. The survey of more than 100 senior banking executives found that mobile demand is far exceeding expectations, while customer experience and security rank as banks’ highest priorities.
The survey, "Mobile Banking: Testing Times for Apps Development," found that to meet customer demands, banks are looking to invest more resources in mobile application development. Still, a scarcity of in-house resources is holding back mobile app time to market.
The survey polled executives at 74 financial institutions in 25 countries and was conducted by financial technology research company Finextra on behalf of CSC. Based on the survey results, six recommended actions every bank should consider were compiled:
- Monitor and Evaluate – Banks should monitor mobile banking usage and make sure that a clearly defined roadmap and digital strategy are firmly in place that provide customers the mobile services they want and deserve. Also, banks should ensure that existing IT and business processes are closely aligned with the mobile strategy.
- Outsourcing – The survey found that performing all mobile development in-house takes longer than outsourcing to a services provider. Banks should carefully review all outsourcing options and assess the processes that might be good candidates for outsourcing.
- Customer Experience – Survey respondents cited customer experience as a top priority for banks. Thus, banks should gather and analyze current data to understand exactly what customers want from a bank's mobile channel and what devices they are using. Then, testing efforts can be optimized to target the most common devices and operating systems.
- Cloud Technology – The survey found that cloud computing is being underutilized by banks. As mobile devices and operating systems proliferate, banks should consider adopting cloud technologies to reduce time and costs, as well as increase development efficiency.
- Agile Testing – Banks should maintain agile testing capabilities to respond quickly to emerging security threats and have the ability to quickly know whether apps have been exposed to hackers. Banks should also have the flexibility to leverage mobile development teams to make a quick fix when needed.
- Social Media – provides a rich source of authentic, immediate insight into customer sentiment and intent. Analyzing this is far more powerful and relevant than traditional sources alone.
The financial services industry has seen an explosion of mobile banking usage. "Mobile is exceeding the expectations of what banks thought it would be," says Daniel Meere, managing partner, Banking & Capital Markets Consulting at CSC. "The key is what to do about it." For one, he says, striking the balance between providing a good customer experience and reliable security is essential.
Allocating funds in the right places and getting the right resources on board to keep customers happy presents what Meere calls a "conundrum" that can be solved by bringing in outside expertise. "The survey shows that the mind-set has changed to outsourcing more," Meere says, adding that CSC's ConfidentID Mobile is a good example of a service banks can use to meet increased mobile demands.
From security to customer satisfaction, to keeping up with nimble competitors, banking executives have a lot on their plates. Still, banks need to focus first on nailing down the basics. The survey found checking balances to be the most important retail banking application. Plus, the ability to make small payments is a more important customer retail application than the ability to manage personal finances (see figure 1 ).
The survey found that testing mobile applications is an essential task for banks. Yet, despite its cost-effectiveness, the use of cloud services for testing is underutilized, as just 10 percent of the respondents are taking the cloud route. Banks in the United Kingdom, where the survey originated, are twice as likely to use cloud services as those elsewhere.
Not surprisingly, in terms of testing mobile applications, the survey found that "Security is the most important consideration because the stakes are so high for customers, but also for banks [that] risk more than just reputational damage if their apps are found to be insecure." Usability was seen as the second highest consideration, followed by quality and performance (see figure 2 ).
The introduction of Apple Pay, a new feature in iPhone 6 that gives users the ability to make payments directly from their smartphones, makes dealing with mobile applications even more complex for banks. Banking customers access apps from such a wide variety of versions of Apple's iOS and Android that application testing for multiple operating systems is a major challenge. "Banks can prioritize testing efforts by analyzing the data showing which operating systems and devices are most commonly being used by their customers," Meere says.
Jim Battey is a writer for CSC's digital marketing team.