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Rohit Sharma, Virtusa Corporation
Rohit Sharma, Virtusa Corporation
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Mobile Banking Trends To Watch Out For In 2013

Mobile banking trends are always a hot topic in the industry. Here are some of the trends expected to grow in mobile banking over the next year.

Mobile banking has evolved tremendously over the past years. As we move into 2013, there are a few key trends that we will see emerge and gain momentum.

We believe that voice will be part of all enterprise class mobile applications in the next 3 to 5 years and will do more than just replace typing. Apple’s personal voice assistant Siri is just the beginning, and soon we will see a number of new speech-enabled uses and applications for the banking industry. Voice provides a much deeper interaction mechanism than just typing or going to a particular screen on your phone app or online. Humans use voice to communicate much more naturally than typing and have been doing so for several millenniums. Virtusa believes that using voice offers a paradigm shift in user interaction. We categorize this in the following natural language queries: transaction by voice, customer care through voice, information retrieval by voice and navigation by voice.

Natural language queries provide the ability to interact with your banking app similar to your interactions with a teller or a customer care representative. For example, you can ask questions like "What did I spend on gas last month?", "What is the interest rate on my savings?” Implementing these examples through UI leads to a complex user experience. You can execute transactions such as "I would like to pay my credit card bills" or "transfer $1,000 from my checking to savings account." The possibilities for increased customer experience and call center optimizations increase with customer care through voice where you can perform actions such as "I've lost my credit card what should I do?" or "I would like to speak to an agent regarding my bill." These examples reduce the overall cost of satisfying these requests and also increase the responsiveness and simplicity of the customer experience. We also believe that several exciting horizontal capability integrations, such as integrating with the car voice system are likely to be commonplace.

We’ve said it over and over, but we can’t ignore the continued role of mobile internet access when it comes to banking. We believe mobile devices have already displaced desktop-based internet access and will soon become the preferred vehicle for carrying out banking activities. According to research released by Google in January 2011, more consumers use smartphones to access Internet than through PCs. As such, the tipping point for smartphones has already arrived. However smartphones are predominately used for transactional or quick access, such as looking up restaurants, products or transit information. A consumer is more likely to use a tablet or a desktop for more analysis-based activity. Given this, we believe that desktop based internet access has already been replaced by mobile devices, though desktops will continue to be used for more complex longer-term activities. In terms of banking, one can think of transactions being completed through mobile devices, but budgets or financial planning will still be done on desktops, potentially to be replaced by tablets.

Aside from the voice and mobile trends, this year we predict a number of mobile banking headlines around overall integration and the usage of unique mobile capabilities to provide differentiated service offerings. The first trend is integration, across delivery channels and across functionalities or lines of business. Integration across delivery channels will provide consumers with seamless access to services across desktop, mobile, car and television. A consumer will be able to kick off a banking enrollment or “account opening journey” on a mobile phone and complete it on a desktop. He or she will be able to access their mobile applications through the car voice system or screen. And, they will get critical alerts on television. Enterprises who adopt this paradigm will create solutions that are likely to garner significant distinction in the coming year.

The second trend is usage of unique mobile capabilities to provide differentiated service offerings. These will leverage capabilities such as voice, image capture and geo-location to provide easy to use and intuitive mobile products. Some examples include using voice to drive intuitive user interactions such as “I would like to apply for a credit card” or “Can you tell me the last time I brought something from the Gap?” Examples for image processing include scanning QR or barcodes to start a user journey, for example the eTrade app which lets you scan a barcode to get company information, or usage of Mobile Visual Search (MVS) for recognizing objects and using that information for product information. Enterprises that leverage unique mobile capabilities across channels and functionalities will create compelling products and offerings that will garner praise and attention over the next few years.

What do you think? What mobile banking trends will make headlines in 2013? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Rohit Sharma, Head of Mobility Practice, Virtusa Corporation. In this role, Rohit develops Virtusa's mobility practice from ground up including GTM strategy, assets and skillsets across a global delivery team, while leading mobility initiatives for large enterprises.

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