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Monday, April 15, 2024

    Mobile Banking Adoption

    The virtual banks taking up residence in consumers’ pockets mirror what the physical bank does, sometimes even one step better.

    Mobile banking is still a relatively young phenomenon. It’s evolving with technology and responding to ongoing insights on what customers value. Here, bankers and experts share some of the lessons learned along the way.

    Mobile matters, but doesn’t replace branch banking.

    Late last year, a survey conducted for the American Bankers Association by Morning Consult found 70 percent of consumers use a mobile device to manage their account at least once a month, and 46 percent do so more than three times monthly.

    Still, that leaves a significant segment of non-users.

    And, a JD Power survey finds that customers who use both branches and digital banking are more satisfied with their banking relationship than those who strictly deal with physical or digital channels.

    To introduce customers to mobile, banks use all the traditional marketing mediums, like email blasts, in-branch signage and envelope stuffers, say researchers Chandri Ohri, Rob Levy and Hannah Kramer of the Financial Health Network. Some banks are also experimenting with cash-back and other incentives for app users.

    However, Peter Wannemacher, principal analyst at Forrester, points out, “The most important factor in driving adoption of mobile banking is knowledge and advocacy from customer-facing employees.”

    Chris King, director of marketing for Sheffield, Ala.-based Bank Independent agrees. “We have had great adoption [of the app]among our team members,” he says. “That helps with customer questions.” Bank Independent keeps educating its staff as well, through internal newsletters.

    Branch personnel need to gently nudge the uninitiated.

    The challenge is to introduce branch customers to mobile without implying they are no longer welcome at a physical office, notes Doug Smith, director of consumer digital banking for Fifth Third Bank.

    Part of the Fifth Third staff training focuses on how to pick up cues from customer conversations to introduce mobile. Gentle hints might use phrases like: “I just want to let you know that you can also do this at home—not that we don’t want to see you—but if you don’t feel like going out in this weather…”

    Manuel Moure, head of retail customer solutions development for BBVA’s U.S. operations, agrees. “Employees are among the best ambassadors we have for the mobile app, and this is especially true of the branch team members, as they have day-to-day contact with clients.”

    Within its app, BBVA offers a tutorial-style demo, Moure explains. When BBVA team members discuss mobile with customers, BBVA team members are trained to help a customer download the app, and then launch the demo.

    In the process, the employee inputs his/her employee identification number, allowing BBVA to track all the activity that the employee and the customer perform together. Weak Online Banking Passwords


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