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Jonathan Camhi
Jonathan Camhi
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5 Ways Mobile Banking Is Evolving: Finovate

Several new technologies demoed at Finovate this week showcased new ways that mobile is solving pain points for banks and their customers.

The financial technology industry gathered this past week in New York City for Finovate Fall this week, and, as one would expect, mobile was a dominant theme among the new solutions unveiled. A number of solutions on display were aimed at simplifying and optimizing the mobile experience for both bank employees and customers. The notable prevalence of mobile-first solutions showed how quickly innovation occurring in the mobile channel, and pointed the way towards a future where consumers can conduct most of their financial lives on their tablets and smartphones. We take a look at a number of solutions from the conference that show new use cases for mobile and improve the customer experience.

[To hear how companies are Making the Most of Enterprise Mobility, check out the session at Interop on October 3.]

Mobile Photo Account Opening

Mitek won the first place prize at Finovate this year for its mobile photo account opening solution that it unveiled at the show. The solution helps individuals open a bank account with their mobile device by taking a picture of both sides of their driver's license, says Scott Carter, Mitek's chief marketing officer.

The capability is designed to integrate into a bank's mobile app, and addresses a couple of key pain points highlighted in a recent Javelin report on mobile account opening, Carter points out.

First, the solution eliminates the need for the user to fill an account application by typing with their thumbs, because the application is mostly auto-populated with information from the driver's license, he says.

Secondly, when deployed in conjunction with Mitek's mobile check deposit, the customer can immediately fund their account with a check deposit without closing the app, Carter adds. Javelin's report found that inability to fund an account was by far the most common reason for customers to abandon the account opening process online or on a mobile device.

[See Related: Javelin Report: Improving Mobile Account Opening A Must]

Mobile Mortgage Application

Mitek wasn't the only company making use of the smartphone camera in a new solution at the event. Kofax introduced a mobile app that allows mortgage applicants to send in their supplemental documents by snapping a picture of them with their phone. Typically customers have to fax or scan their verification documents in to the lender, which can be time-consuming and inconvenient depending on the customer's access to a scanner or fax machine, says Drew Hyatt, Kofax's VP of mobile applications.

The mobile app can be integrated into a bank's mobile app or downloaded as a stand-alone app, and alerts the customer with a text message when specific documents are needed, Hyatt notes. Additionally, Kofax can also offer additional products to help with document management, and analytics capabilities to track which branches or brokers are originating the most loans.

Originating Small Business Loans

Capital Access Network, a small business finance specialist, showcased their Mobile Funder, a tablet-based tool for financial sales/ISO representatives selling small business loans. Mobile Funder allows the representative to pre-qualify, authorize credit checks, propose multiple finance options, and sign and submit applications, which would eliminate paper applications.

"The sales representative can show info in real time [on the app] to allow the customer to compare terms," says Dan DeMeo, Capital Access Network's CEO. "That speed and real-time capability is the hook. We can get a decision in 20 minutes." And with Capital Access Network's unique pre-qualification screening, they pre-approve 70% of the loans, he adds.

Optimizing Mobile PFM

Last year's first prize winner, MoneyDesktop, unveiled its new mobile-optimized user interface for managing personal finance goals called Guide Me. The solution provides an interactive timeline that allows users to set and manage their long and short-term financial goals with simple taps and swipes on their smartphone.

"We have a mobile-first strategy — and that starts with the user interface experience. We tried to put in some gaming features. We included bubble budgets that turn red, green or yellow alerting you to how well you're following your goals," says Bret Skousen, MoneyDesktop's EVP of marketing.

Dynamic Mobile Statements

GMC Software, which specializes in customer communication solutions, demoed its Inspire Dynamic Statement for Mobile solution. The solution brings capabilities usually associated with PFM tools, such as searchable transaction history and interactive graphs, while also meeting the compliance of delivering a monthly bank statement, says Scott Draeger, GMC's customer communication strategist. With the dynamic statement, GMC can pull marketing data as well to include interactive advertisements for cross-selling and up-selling customers, he adds. The digital statement can be delivered to customers through the bank's mobile app, and can be offered in conjunction with GMC's print, online and email statements, delivering a multi-channel customer communication strategy, Draeger notes.


Jonathan Camhi has been an associate editor with Bank Systems & Technology since 2012. He previously worked as a freelance journalist in New York City covering politics, health and immigration, and has a master's degree from the City University of New York's Graduate School ... View Full Bio

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