In this final installment of “Moving From Mobile Apps to a Mobile Platform,” we go back to where it all started and take a closer look at the innovation that can be expected on the consumer side of the equation. A Mobile Application Platform (MAP) is good for everyone, and the consumer segment is especially enriched by the fact that businesses and bank employee apps can be built on the same platform. Business mobile will push the boundaries of features and functions as will employee-facing apps. Remember, when you add a feature for one of these groups, all users benefit. Specifically there are three areas where consumers will benefit by being part of the platform in the coming year: expanded data, enhanced functionality and better security.
[Check Out the Second Part Of Our Series On Mobile Platforms: How Moving to A Mobile Platform Can Benefit Commercial Clients]
MAPs Improve Retail Mobile Banking
The MAP approach to mobile banking enables banks to draw on robust features built for commercial customers to enhance the retail customer mobile experience. Since business mobile apps are adding data to their applications straight from the core banking system, functions such as displaying multiple balances, showing a running balance and allowing a business to see all of their business entities within a single app are made possible. When these features are added to the MAP, they can be easily extended to the consumer app. Some of the most notable impacts include the ability for consumers to see more than one balance, such as current and available balances, view their running balance (if their core supports this) and to see their business accounts if they also own a small business. Enabling customers to view their personal and business information in the same app has previously been considered impossible, but a single platform allows for it.
Consumer apps will also see new functionality such as wire transfers. Wires are a "must have" for businesses performing transactions via the mobile channel. Once added to the MAP, wire transfers can be easily repurposed for consumer use. This also creates a potential source of fee-based revenue for the bank, as wires are traditionally something consumers pay for and now they will be easier for the customer to perform.
Security is another area that is critical for business mobile. Out of band authentication - sending one-time pass codes via a channel outside of the app - and device monitoring, are two very simple examples of security features that are being added to business mobile apps and can be expanded in a MAP to immediately be leveraged in the consumer offering.
[The mobile employee -- as well as the mobile customer -- are here to stay. Is your bank prepared? Learn how to set up and maintain a mobile infrastructure that can support today's needs and tomorrow's expected mobile demands. Attend the From BYOD to 802.11ac: How to Build A Next-Generation Mobile Infrastructure session at Interop 2014 in Las Vegas, March 31-April 4.
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Consumers will also experience improvements through the mobile app’s expansion to teller apps built for bank employees. As features for bringing branch-based teller transactions to employees are developed further, such as loan payments, debit card management features and account administration, consumers will get a host of new features.
The beauty of condensing business, enterprise and retail mobile apps into a single platform lies in the simple customizability. While users can reap the rewards of the apps being interconnected, they will not have to wade through features that don’t apply to them. The platform should be built in a way that ensures business mobile functions that don’t translate to consumer usage can be easily turned off. It also enables segmentation at its finest. The platform should know who is signing in and present only the information applicable to them without the need for customers to download separate apps. Take a married couple for instance: say the wife owns a small business, but her husband is not involved in it. Although they have downloaded the same app, she sees both her business and personal accounts upon signing in, but her husband would only see their personal account information in his app.
This is an exciting time for the mobile channel. In 2014 there will be an explosion of apps for businesses and employees. Consumer mobile apps will continue to expand, leveraging the work being done for these other constituencies. These advances will only be possible through a platform approach to mobile banking. A bank needs a common infrastructure and a common app for all of their users. Mobile users in both the commercial and consumer segments will be treated to an improved experience and banks save time and money when they roll out a platform that can accommodate all of its customers. There is no doubt that mobile banking has become a mission critical endeavor for banks of all sizes and streamlining the launch and maintenance of a mobile program is essential for these institutions in 2014.
Robb Gaynor is the chief product officer of Austin, Texas-based Malauzai Software.