There is no question that technology has changed what consumers expect from brands. It has also had a dramatic impact on our attention spans – shortening them to just 8-seconds.
This trend has resulted in a shift of marketing’s role from communicators to relationship builders. Nowhere is this more the case than in the financial services sector, where the responsibility of creating personal connections with customers is no longer solely the job of the bank teller or financial advisor. Marketing must now develop emotional connections leveraging a variety of channels: website, social media, email, and even within the mobile app.
Mobile Banking Misses The Mark
I have a been a member of a digital credit union for over ten years and immediately adopted mobile banking when it was made available. So, the following stats from Mintel came as a bit of a shock to me:
- 48% of consumers have not downloaded any mobile banking apps
- 41% say it’s due to security issues
- 40% don’t use mobile banking because *they don’t see a need for it*
- Only 28% of consumers conduct at least half of their banking transactions on their phones
Furthermore, the industry has seen the adoption of mobile banking slow considerably. According to the latest Federal Reserve data, mobile adoption by smartphone users increased from 43% to 50% from 2011 to 2012 – and has grown only 3% more through 2015. This data includes those that have used mobile banking at least once in the past year.
With all of the focus on technology, especially mobile, why do financial service customers still lag behind? One reason is that mobile banking, as a channel, is not being leveraged as a way to build relationships.
If you think of your mobile banking app– assuming you use one– it primarily serves a utilitarian purpose: deposit a check or check a balance. Banking apps generally do not provide insight, advice, guidance, or education – all things younger segments desire from their banking relationships.
A platform vs. a tool
When you think about online banking through your website, it’s a safe bet that you consider it as part of the greater whole of the site. However, chances are you don't view your mobile app in the same way. It’s a tool made for a transaction. To be successful in mobile, you must have a strategy in place that includes ongoing consumer feedback and insights, a content framework, and a roadmap of upcoming tools and features.
The same study that highlighted adoption went on to say that non-users claimed they would consider using a banking app if it offered budgeting tools, or rewards for shopping at certain stores. We know there is a demand for personal finance tips and education as well. All of this provides an opportunity to view your mobile banking app as a full-service extension of your brand. Doing so will increase engagement and loyalty over time.