The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

Mobile Banking | a replacement, or a supplement?

Javelin anounce some new reports on the potential for adoption of mobile banking. While I agree with this statement from the press release, I think a nuance is missed here.

While consumers are better primed for mobile banking now than they were in 2000, financial institutions (FIs) should not consider the mere availability of mobile banking a guarantee of success. FIs should prepare for measured, rather than widespread and immediate adoption, even though consumers, handsets and mobile networks have made tremendous advancements.

Source: Javelin

Mobile Banking … the assumption is that online banking or ATM functions would be replicated on the mobile screen. With that limitation, certainly the uptake will be limited, and the tenor of the article makes sense.

What if we expanded the notion of mobile banking to supplement the customers experience, on the other channels. For example, account alerts when a bill is due, or an account balance reaches a certain level, or a payment at a store in an amount of > $X occurs.

I see mobile as a supplement to PC based online banking, and also as a back up in the event a PC isn’t handy. In short it will round out the customers experience into a truly integrated multi channel experience.

Written by Colin Henderson

May 15, 2007 at 21:34

Posted in Wireless

5 Responses

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  1. Well said Colin. In North America especially, it’s a supplement not only to online banking, but to the debit/credit card (check your balance before using), the VRU (text your bank instead of dialing), and customer service (able to connect with customers in real-time for security/service “emergencies”).

    Jim Bruene

    May 16, 2007 at 10:14

  2. Hi Colin, you are exactly on point with what our report goes on to describe. From our point of view, mobile is definitely a distinct, supplemental channel that is not a dumb-downed, mini online channel. As you mention in your post, mobile presents yet another channel to provide customers a way to bank when they want, and how (channel especially) they want. How I see it, eventually consumers will begin to expect the mobile channel as a given, just as they expect the (fee-free) availability of the online channel. It’ll take time, but I see it as eventually getting there.

    Jean Garascia

    May 16, 2007 at 12:23

  3. I have read quite a few articles and announcements on mobile banking recently, and often I feel that “mobile banking” as it is often presented speaks more to the evolution of the devices and technology we use to access voice and data networks than to an evolution in banking services (more of my thoughts here).

    I think you are right though – what services can be offered that are unique to the mobile channel. One thing I have often thought about is notifying the consumer of a pending debit (e.g. an ACH/EFT or image exchanged cheque) to allow them to make a pay/no pay decision. This could also benefit the banks by reducing unauthorized and/or fraudulent debits and expedite the returns process.

    John Januszczak

    May 23, 2007 at 12:46

  4. John .. that pay/no pay decision at the mobile, is a brilliant idea!
    Even better if the phone could just be used as the payment mechanism as we see in Japan, and eliminate the pin at the terminal altogether.


    May 24, 2007 at 15:30

  5. […] is the only available application during a power outage.  Smart Banks will develop mobile, but not only for transactions.  Mobile for communication, and providing information.  RSS to mobile readers for […]

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