As financial institutions around the world undergo digital transformation – at different pace and facing varied market realities – there's little doubt that mobile is at the heart of the process. It's a clear takeaway following the international Mobile and Banking Workshop events series that Infobip hosted throughout March and April in Latin America, Asia and Africa, welcoming over 350 experts from IT departments, project teams and product divisions leading banks through the online and mobile transformation.
With growing reliance on mobile phones in all the aspects of life, and almost 200 interactions that an average person has with their mobile phone every day, opportunities for buliding engagement and loyalty in personal finance seem more than obvious. Financial institutions are certainly not new to the mobile field. They were among the first ones to push for the mobile evolution, using traditional messaging and telephony to improve customer communications in the early days of telecoms networks.
MOBILE APPS AND BANKING EXPERIENCE
In 2016, solutions and features in mobile are launched daily, making banking experience easier, more convenient, more available. Point-of-sale contactless payments over banking apps are allowing consumers to pay for goods and services without ever opening their wallet for cash or cards. Smartphone camera is already a part of the banking service, helping customers conduct payments within seconds, and without typing a single letter or digit into the app.
Professional SMS messaging systems, trusted by banks for almost two decades now, are refining their processing and reporting functions, and rapidly adding new functionality, one of them being secure credit car PIN delivery.
Already in place and well integrated with existing banking operations, messaging platforms are seeing their traditional roles in alerting and notification complemeted with several types of new uses. Some banks have used a professional SMS channel to facilitate adoption of their mobile apps, as well as to deliver app activation keys.
SMS invite is a process in which a link for direct app download is delivered in an SMS message, usually by a bank employee during a consultation session. It helps banks keep a high level of control over the installation process, and minimize failed app activations.
MULTI-CHANNEL – CHALLENGE AND OPPORTUNITY
Multi-channel communications solutions are another matter of growing interest, delegates at Mobile and Banking workshops said. How to best reach users across channels and devices, prioritize communication media and ensure mooth transitions between channels – all according to user preference and choice - is challenge to be addressed in the next years.
Financial industry understands the potential of telecoms capacity well, and its importance in the evolution of mobile services in banking. Expectations are huge, and so are demands for enterprise-grade, tailored solutions, those that can address specific painpoints and be implemented smoothly.
Branchless banking is a much discussed trend, relying mostly on technology, software and user experience solutions for its success. In order to run smoothly, branchless banking has to be fueled by superb and top-performing technologies. Run by efficient and forward-thinking IT departments, it is constantly on the lookout for improvements and a powerful source of innovation in mobile and banking.
Unique user experience across all the points of encounter with a financial service - from the ATM screen to the internet baking web interface and the mobile app - is seen as an important factor in service quality and even customer retention. Actual implementations still vary with respect to strategic priorities in each and every financial institution.
Forward looking banks have run experimental programs with social network components in the banking service. In-app chat and video capability seem like the next big steps, allowing real-time, personal interactions with the bank, for a more individual experience and better service quality.
Others have added augmented reality elements to their mobile apps, shaping banking experience to meet the demands of the tech savy generations - those that might have a completely different set of criteria when deciding about their financial providers.
Mobile and Banking Workshops were held in Bogota, Buenos Aires, Sao Paolo, Dubai, Bali, Watamu (Kenya) and Accra. The series will continue soon, with even more topics, expert presentations and knowledge sharing opportunities on the most recent trends and developments in mobile and banking. Visit Flickr galleries for more photos!