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With Mobile, Integration is Everything: Q&A With KeyBank's Dean Ilijasic

Deploying mobile as a channel could easily become a siloed exercise. But Cleveland-based KeyBank takes a different approach. Key SVP Dean Ilijasic explains the significance of mobile to the bank's multi-channel strategy.

In the scramble to meet customer demand for mobile banking, deploying a mobile channel can easily become a siloed exercise. Not so for Cleveland-based KeyBank ($86 billion in total assets), where emphasis on the tight integration of all channels also drives mobile development. Bank Systems & Technology contributor Anne Rawland Gabriel spoke recently with Dean Ilijasic, senior vice president and director of consumer and small business innovation at Key, about the significance of mobile to the bank's multi-channel strategy and where it plans to go from here.

How does your mobile channel fit into Key's overall multi-channel strategy?

Ilijasic: Throughout the evolution of our channels we've found that customers will use all of them -- no matter what new channel comes along, no one abandons any one of them.

For us, this means the experience needs to be optimized and consistent across all channels -- any given channel isn't just a redo of a previous channel. For example, we'll soon be rolling out mobile for tablets and it will be optimized for that experience, not just a migration of the experience on a smartphone.

And, whether a customer calls us, goes online, sends us a text or stops by an ATM to check their balance, the answer should be the same across all those channels.

To accomplish this, the responsibility for all of our channels to rolls up to one individual whose department is purposefully named "Integrated Channel Management." We use this strategy to send a message to ourselves that "integrated" is how we approach everything, even though a bank of our age and size has evolved many different platforms and technologies.

What are the primary components of Key's mobile channel?

Ilijasic: Secure. Easy. Saves time.

Security is first because the best-designed solution won't get used unless it's secure. And, security is still the number one reason why non-adopters haven't used online or mobile banking. We tackle that through education, including with our bankers, because it's customers walking into our branches that are frequently uncomfortable with new technology.

Of course ease of use and saving time are still important, which comes from experiences that customers bring to us from outside the financial services industry. They may have had a wonderful experience at a retailer’s Web site and they expect the same from us.

How does Key differentiate its mobile channel from others in the market?

Ilijasic: We don't use differentiation as a driver for developing a product or a service. Instead, we start with client needs and build from there.

But, if we develop something that's truly a differentiator, that's fantastic. On such offering is the ability to use our text banking regardless of whether you're an online banking client or not – that's unique to only a handful of banks.

Another is the performance of our mobile Web site, which we take a lot of pride in. Compuware's Gomez [Detroit, Mich.] representatives helped us define a unique monitoring solution for our mobile banking services. As a result, our mobile Web performance in 2011 achieved an average availability of 99.51 percent with an average response time of 4.497 seconds and an average response consistency of 3.866 seconds standard deviation.

Anne Rawland Gabriel is a technology writer and marketing communications consultant based in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. Among other projects, she's a regular contributor to UBM Tech's Bank Systems & Technology, Insurance & Technology and Wall Street & Technology ... View Full Bio

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