Financial institutions are betting on mobile services to differentiate and appeal to a growing number of mobile-only consumers. However, simply offering mobile remote deposit capture (mRDC) is not enough anymore. We must leverage the growing array of mobile-centric features to provide customers with the best possible experience. This is NOT in parity with online websites. It needs to be BETTER.
If banks cannot drive the mobile-centric experience that customers demand, alternative solutions will win. One needs to look no further than Simple or Square to see the drastic impact non-traditional players have made in the ever-changing landscape of financial services. Where should we start? There are three significant trends which are ready to be leveraged immediately, as follows:
Keyboard-less access: Customers love mobile, but tiny keyboards and touchscreens are cumbersome when it comes to data entry. A recent Forrester report notes that “forcing customers to type on small screens is a losing proposition. ” To help with this problem, many solutions offer auto-entry and auto-correction, but this can actually work AGAINST the customer, particularly when trying to work quickly or enter long passwords. To further complicate, customers are rarely stationary when using mobile devices. They are walking, in a moving vehicle or doing something else that doesn’t leave thumbs free for data entry. Customers are seeking, and finding, solutions that eliminate keyboard entry. Voice recognition (e.g. Siri) is one option. Taking a picture of a check is now commonplace. Taking a picture of other relevant items (a photo ID, passport or bill that must be paid) to populate mobile forms is equally compelling.
Biometrics: With smartphone manufacturers now embedding fingerprint sensors on their devices (e.g. iPhone 5s) and consumers increasingly adopting biometrics to access their device, it’s easy to assume that companies will begin leveraging this same technology to secure access to apps, systems and even networks. In fact, a recent report from Gartner predicts that by 2016, at least 30 percent of all companies will be using biometric technologies on mobile devices.
[For More from Mitek’s Mike Strange: Is 2014 the Year of Mobile Banking?]
But it’s not just fingerprints. Other biometric technologies including facial recognition, voice analysis, and even body odor (seriously, read the article) are becoming more advanced as well. This presents a tremendous opportunity for banks to be able to serve and identify customers. For example, we should look for newer and simpler ways to streamline the login processes and eliminate the problem of lost or forgotten passwords.
Always On: Mobile devices are carried everywhere. Recent studies suggest that many people check their mobile phone over 100 times per day. Historically, banks have had the opportunity to interact with their customers once per week or sometimes less often. Mobile opens up the chance to think COMPLETELY DIFFERENTLY about customer interaction – multiple times per day. If banks do not, they will soon be replaced by alternative solution providers who ARE interacting with their customers multiple times per day. If you are not talking to your customers, someone else is.
Marketing campaigns that might have taken months to take effect can now be implemented in days – or even hours. An obvious technical example is push notifications. These are commonplace and expected, although customers do expect it to be used judiciously. In another example, several banks and alternative providers are allowing customers to check their balance with a simple “swipe” of their finger, without the pain of logging in. This is a great way to take advantage of the “always on” aspect of mobile banking.
Mobile is not just the next hot technology. It is not “online” in a smaller form factor. It is an opportunity. An opportunity to leverage technologies that have never existed before – and to interact with customers in completely new ways. To start, explore these three technologies and incorporate them into your mobile strategy. Make it cool. Make it fun. Your customers will thank you.
Mike Strange is the CTO of Mitek Systems.