Mobile banking has come a long way from the early days of balance inquiry and ATM location. With more sophisticated mobile apps, banks have enabled their customers to perform a vast majority of standard account management tasks through the use of a smartphone or tablet, still requiring a trip into the branch (or at least their PC) to perform most high-value financial tasks such as a loan application.
But with the proliferation of advanced mobile features made available by developers, mobile banking apps can begin to accommodate more advanced banking tasks that have traditionally been easier to perform in other channels. Bank of America has deployed in-app appointment scheduling for customers wishing to meet with personal bankers or financial advisors. One can expect that such a feature will both maximize branch efficiency and allow its customer base to become acclimated with mobile channels.
Just as they can bridge the gap between branch and mobile, banks have the opportunity to optimize call center menus by showing detailed options within the customer service tab of their app. Such an update could alleviate its customers of the lengthy touch-tone process that often produces ill sentiment toward the bank. From a revenue standpoint, abandonment rates on product inquiries could improve. Additionally, banks could see lower attrition that would normally result from not having an issue addressed immediately.
The evolution of mobile app features also allows banks to enhance the current mobile banking experience, both from a convenience and security standpoint. Cardless cash withdrawal enables consumers to ‘stage’ the withdrawal of cash from a given ATM using a QR code. Such innovation is being piloted by Wintrust Bank, whose customers will benefit from not having to bring their debit card to the ATM and potentially being able to authorize withdrawal of cash by family members.
A smartphone’s GPS feature can also be leveraged in detecting fraud. If a consumer’s transaction card is used at a merchant location other than the current location of his or her smartphone, the consumer can be notified immediately through the mobile banking app (though customers would ideally need to opt into this service). Security also has the potential to be enhanced at the login screen of a mobile banking app, should Apple extend its Touch ID fingerprint authenticator to third party apps.
Banks have often been criticized as being slow-to-react on its customers’ digital demands. However, many of the desired mobile features are add-on in nature and do not require reconfiguration or large-scale integration with existing mobile functionality. Acting on these growing mobile needs could lead to increased customer engagement and potentially new revenue opportunities down the road.