Photo: Phoebe Stein
We’ve known for a while that banks are lacking on a number of mobile fronts–security measures, remote checking deposit, and SMS texting to name a few–but new research shows those aren’t the only areas where they fall short.Swiss research firm MyPrivateBanking analysed mobile offerings from 50 worldwide bank branches to find out if they were doling out the services customers want most.
They aren’t: Researchers found “significant short-comings when compared to the list of the features desired by users,” according to the report. “Only the most basic functions such as an account overview and Branch-/ATM-finder are offered by more then 80% of the banks.”
What people really want are tools that go beyond checking their balances and transfering funds. That means direct access to financial advisers (chat, video or podcast) and the highest level of security possible.
At the time, only about one-third of banks studied offered these.
If banks want customers to hang around (and put up with a slew of new fees), they’re going to have to start listening up. A recent report estimated a staggering 5.6 million big bank customers switched banks in the last few months of 2011 alone.
Meanwhile, alternative financial companies like Personal Capital and Simple Banking are moving right into traditional banks’ mobile territory. Personal Capital doesn’t have a financial arm, per se, but users get a holistic breakdown of their finances–not just banking accounts–along with video-chat access to advisors.
Simple’s CEO said it best when he spoke to Your Money earlier this year: “We started Simple because retail banks have forgotten who their customers are.”
Percentage of Banks Offering Most Popular Banking-App Functions:
Most Important Features of Banking Apps % of World’s 50 Top Banks Offering App-Feature Account overview 94% Online banking 84% Branch and/or ATM finder 84% Market information 64% Securities brokerage 40% Product and service offerings 36% Direct contact to financial advisor (e.g. chat, messaging function, ) 36% Video- or Podcast 32% Full Security (encryption, password and username safety measures) 30% Link with Facebook presence 18%Banks analysed: ABN Amro, ANZ Bank, BBVA, Bank of China, Bank of Montreal, BNY Mellon, Barclays, BB&T, BNP Paribas, BofA, Bradesco, Caisse d’Epargne, CIBC, Citibank, Clariden Leu, Commerzbank, Credit Agricole, Credit Suisse, Danske Bank, DBS Bank, Deutsche Bank, Dexia, Erste Bank, HSBC, ING, Intesa Sanpaolo, Itau Private Bank, J.P. Morgan, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Merrill Lynch, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, National Australia, Nordea, PNC, Postbank Deutschland, Rabobank Group, Royal Bank of Canada, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander, SEB, Société Générale, Sparkasse Deutschland, Standard Chartered, Suntrust, Toronto Dominion, UBS, UniCredit, Volksbank Deutschland, Vontobel, Wells Fargo