Mobile is not just an extension of web computing, it’s a new way of using technology to deliver banking services. If you want to sound cool, you’d call it delivering mobile banking experiences.
The complication to consider when creating mobile banking experiences is how people expect to interact with your services considering their consumer experiences (say with Facebook or Uber).
Therefore the approach to building a banking mobile experience has to be different than past approaches when building web banking experiences.
A simple mobile banking experience example
Mobile, and to some extent all the data our banks collect about us, enables banks to surface experiences at the right time of the customer journey to expose service capabilities that might otherwise be inaccessible.
The advantage to the consumer is that they take advantage of a more complete spectrum of benefits to which they already have access. A great example of this is credit card benefits. Many consumer have car rental insurance from their credit cards (if the rental is paid for using their credit card).
How many people still purchase additional car rental insurance “just to be safe”?
We know that the more a customer interacts with their bank, the better a customer they are… car rental insurance is an opportunity to use another bank service, and an opportunity to make them a more satisfied customer.
The bank’s approach? Advertising the feature. But… the amount of advertising they do can’t possibly cover all the features for all their products’ niche uses. And so many perks of cards or accounts go unused. It’s a missed opportunity to bind the customer to the brand.
Why couldn’t a bank simply look at the reservation charge transaction and notify the customer to remind them that they don’t need the extra insurance for that rental?
That’s where mobile comes in. Each of these card perks can be a mobile experience.
Mobile banking experiences use case analysis
Want to know where to start? It’s easy. Just listen. Plenty of people are talking publicly, and not all are complainers.
Let’s use the following tweet to think about how this one tweet might impact the way we delight customers?
Frustrating 6 min @Citibank phone call to report I'll be traveling forced me to recite my cc # & card ID in airport. I'd love a TouchID app
— Daniel Eran Dilger (@DanielEran) February 9, 2015
Thinking like a web designer, you don’t need a really big imagination. If this is a pain point, let’s fix it. We know what a call to the call center costs. We know what it costs when a customer can’t use their card overseas because they’ve been locked out by fraud.
Create a capability for a customer to check-in through the app instead of having to call.
I’ve seen some third-party banking software (the software the banks use to create their banking services) and know this is a feature. What I don’t understand is why it’s so hard for banks to realize how important this is.
Funny enough, I left Bank of America for just this reason. I had been traveling to Canada for work regularly when all of a sudden they blocked my account for fraud. Unfortunately (for me) the Monday I landed and was stuck at the airport without any money to get a cab to the office was a US holiday and I couldn’t get my account unlocked. Turns out, I was also a shareholder of Bank of America at the time. I closed my account and sold my shares. Minor in the scheme of global finance, I’m sure, but illustrative of the opening banks are creating for someone to come in and disrupt on experience.
The brand resonance
At the casinos they don’t make it impossible to win, they only tilt the odds in their favor a little. That small edge, applied consistently at every opportunity returns big results.
Brands are missing opportunities to delight across a spectrum of experiences. It’s hard to switch banks, and that makes them complacent.
It may not actually be a big security risk to read the information Daniel did over the phone in public but it sure made him uncomfortable to do so.
There’s this dating advice that suggests you should take a date somewhere exhilarating on a first date. Whether or not the person likes you, the brain associates the exhilaration from the activity with their partner and they’ll like you more. That transference is just the way the brain works.
If my bank makes me do things that I find uncomfortable, that discomfort will transfer to the brand. That’s the opposite of what the brand wants. The brand wants association with cool, simple, smart.
Like ApplePay. Why do you think they’re all advertising the heck out of ApplePay. They want the association.
Mobile banking experiences should delight at every opportunity
Daniels suggests that he’d “love a TouchID app”.
I don’t know what he’s thinking, at this point not a single US banking app supports TouchID as far as I know. (I’d love to be proven wrong about that.)
Imagine the bank sees the transaction for airline tickets. They know you’ll be out of the country. They send you a notification, and straight from the notification you can approve the change to your account settings with TouchID verification. No muss, no fuss.
Of course, maybe the banking transaction doesn’t have the destination and the bank doesn’t know where you’re going?
Why couldn’t they partner with TripIt (using TripIt’s APIs) and know when you’re out of the country? Then just validate with TouchID. It shows that the bank is paying attention to your needs, and then making it easy for them to deliver the best service exactly when you need it.
The banks, like the casinos, need to be obsessive about all the opportunities for creating delightful mobile banking experiences in order to maximize their brands in the age of mobile.
One final question
Should each experience be a different app? Or, should they put all of these experiences into one big app?
Great questions. I finally have a good answer to this one, but I’m going to save it for another post.
I know most of the banks I use have one app, and it drives me crazy that there’s just one. I’ve also worked with a few banks who are trying to consolidate because it’s too hard for customers to manage all the different apps they’ve created.
I empathize with both points of view, and I promise I’ve got an answer.