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Banks Position Themselves For Mobile Banking 2.0

Mobile banking may have become an established channel, but that doesn't mean there aren't lots of changes ahead. What will mark the next generation of mobile -- and what must banks do to capitalize on these trends?

Make Me An Offer

Another key component of mobile banking 2.0 will be the use of geo-location, combined with smartly analyzing customer data, to market and make more relevant offers to consumers, Pearce says. Capgemini's Chennur agrees. "Banks should use a customer's purchase history to provide tailored offers and promotions," says Chennur. "When a customer makes a purchase with their bank card, they can opt to have a receipt sent to their bank. Banks can then store these detailed transaction receipts for the customer and utilize the data to recommend specific offers. For example, when a customer pays for gas at a gas station, the card company knows the consumer has purchased gas. The card company can then provide the consumer with a discounted car wash either at the same station or at a nearby location."

Looking even further into the future, Pearce believes biometrics and voice recognition will play a role in the continuing evolution of mobile banking. Wells Fargo piloted a program last summer in which employees used voice to navigate the mobile banking app, he says. "I walked away from that a believer," he adds. "It's a really great user experience."

Ultimately, Pearce believes that voice recognition can eventually replace typing on a phone as a way to use mobile banking apps.

Despite the opportunities, however, so far many banks have not utilized mobile to its fullest potential, argues Steven Ramirez, CEO of customer experience and social media strategy firm Beyond the Arc.

"Mobile does really change everything," he says. "It allows you to get information when you need it, where you need it, and wherever you are. Most banks haven't fully taken advantage of that yet. They've taken the desktop experience and slimmed it down and put it into a phone. They haven't delivered to meet the customer expectations and experience of what's possible."

Like others, Ramirez believes banks can use mobile more effectively by leveraging big data and analytics to look at transaction history -- not only for a single customer, but also the transactions of millions of customers -- and analyze that information to serve up recommendations for customers based on that. "I think that with the ability of the banks to leverage data and analytics, consumers don't realize all that banks can do for them, and once they see it they will like it," he adds. Infrastructure Upgrades Needed

Banks face a challenge in that they're competing not with other mobile banking experiences but with the experiences consumers are used to getting from mobile-savvy retailers in other industries, Ramirez says. To meet these customer expectations, he says banks will have to integrate disparate back-end systems in order to deliver a more seamless and real-time experience. Though banks are generally reluctant to make the kind of investment needed to overhaul legacy infrastructure, Ramirez says there is a clear business case for doing so.

"I think there's definitely a business case for why that kind of systems integration work is really critical," he says. "It can be a huge source of differentiation for banks that do it. Mobile has been the most quickly adopted new channel in the industry. In a short period of time it has gotten pretty dominant. For a bank to stand out, it will require a big move, and that has to take place at the board level."

Chennur says banks also will need to invest in mobile analytics to understand how the apps are being used and how they can make improvements to existing apps.

"Banks also do need to invest in infrastructure as well," Chennur adds. "Investing in such infrastructure helps with CRM solutions integration with retailer back-end systems for offers and rewards. It is also important that banks invest in integrating with ISVs such as voice-based technologies and scanning solutions [companies]. This will aid in the development of more innovative products based on their road maps. By implementing these strategies, banks can reduce some of the infrastructure that is already in place, bringing banking into the next generation of mobile services."

[Related Content: Mobile Banking Trends For 2014]

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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