BII REPORT: How Banking Is Going Mobile

Over the years, retail banks have innovated to make personal banking more convenient and consumer-friendly.

They’ve built sprawling branch networks, introduced credit cards, and developed automatic teller machines.

In its latest evolution, banking is going mobile. With smartphones and tablets increasingly at the centre of financial decisions — especially those of younger consumers — banks have to get their mobile strategies right. If they don’t, they risk losing business to more mobile-savvy competitors, as well as tech companies like PayPal, that are developing their own payment and personal finance solutions.

In a recent report from BI Intelligence we examine mobile banking’s growth spurt, analyse consumer adoption behaviour and barriers, detail the competition to develop the best mobile banking tools, take a look at some banking app pioneers and cutting-edge features, detail how mobile banking could be bottom-up, expanding bank and credit access worldwide, and touch on how this race affects the closely-related business in mobile payments.

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Here’s a brief overview of the current state of mobile banking: 

  • The app race and platforms: In the highly competitive retail banking sector, any service or feature that helps a bank differentiate can lead to a greater market share, larger deposit base, and an edge on the competition. That’s why banks have begun to invest heavily to integrate the latest and greatest features into their smartphone apps and mobile sites. We look at a few banking app pioneers, and explore the newest cutting-edge features. We also take a peek at the technologies that power mobile banking on the back-end, and the dealmaking that has surrounded these platforms in recent months.
  • Bottom-up: Unlike past consumer finance technologies first adopted by the wealthy in developed countries (e.g., credit cards), mobile banking has caught on in poorer countries, and could expand bank and credit access worldwide. In emerging markets, many lack basic financial infrastructure and limited access to credit is a huge economic bottleneck. But even in the United States, where credit and financial markets are highly evolved, an estimated one-fifth of the adult population have limited access to banks.
  • A mobile-first bank?: If the legacy banks don’t succeed in redefining their services for the mobile age, they risk losing out to upstarts like Simple with innovative mobile-first banking formulas.
  • Adoption barriers: Globally, the mobile banking user base is expected to grow at 18 per cent annually to over 1 billion users by 2017. It’s estimated that 590 million consumers will use mobile banking by year-end 2013. But, on the consumer side, there is still some resistance to mobile banking, reflected in relatively low adoption rates. We look at the five main barriers currently limiting adoption. 

In full, the special report:

  • Looks at the competition to develop the best mobile banking tools
  • Examines mobile banking’s growth spurt
  • analyses consumer adoption behaviour and barrio rs thus far
  • Explains how banks are scrambling to differentiate their services and takes a look at some banking app pioneers and cutting-edge features
  • Details how mobile banking could be bottom-up, expanding bank and credit access worldwide

For full access to the report on Mobile Banking sign up for a free trial subscription today.

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