There are plenty of reasons that a financial institution (FI) might put off the impending digital transformation. It’s no small project. On one side, consumers are demanding a laundry list of products and functions on the user end, but FIs must also respond to pressures on the other side from compliance enforcers and organizational filters.
However, Ken Paterson, VP Special Projects and Director of Customer Interaction, says this is a market where one can reasonably expect any John or Jane Doe to have a smartphone or tablet. Therefore, there’s much to be said for taking a mobile-first approach to creating a digital banking interface.
What Winning FIs Do Differently
The biggest, most successful FIs are already taking a mobile-first approach. For these FIs, mobile is driving major decisions across the organization.
First, it’s shaping platform design factors such as color, branding, and graphic standards. The look and feel of mobile apps are being used to overlay into other channels, including the physical branch channel.
Mobile is also shaping FI’s IT approach, whether they’re developing an API strategy, making decisions around platforms and applications, or weighing the importance of security concerns.
Finally, mobile is dictating shifts in organizational structures as FIs create digital transformation leadership roles and coordinate the implementation of products and services across organizational silos.
Many institutions also have innovation hubs, development labs, and in-house incubators that often serve as leadership training as they rotate executives through their doors.
Why Mobile-First Matters
Why are these FIs letting mobile take shotgun in their decision-making process?
According to Paterson, it’s simple: Mobile should be important to FIs because it’s important to the end customer. Mobile banking is starting to play a lead role in terms of service definition and delivery at FIs. It’s rapidly becoming customers’ favorite delivery channel for FI interactions.
Customer experience is where channel functionality converges in a single location. It’s where omnichannel support occurs, and that’s something that defines the customer experience. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that that’s where digital transformation is happening in successful FIs today.
What Mobile-First Really Looks Like
Of course, it’s no easy task delivering all the functions that customers want at the standards that the law and organizational culture demand. Here is just a partial list of consumer products and functional capabilities that most FIs will want to enable on mobile:
- Deposit, loan and card products
- Investment and insurance products
- P2P transfers and bill-pay
- Card controls
- Mobile wallet/cardless ATM
- Natural language interfaces
- Receipt management
- Branch locator
- Account opening and onboarding
As if that list were not exhaustive enough, Paterson adds that the final output must pass through organizational filters including:
- Structure and controls: What is the organization’s overarching approach to digital transformation and its vision of mobile structure?
- Compliance: Every item in that extensive list must be compliant.
- Disclosure: How will documents and disclosures be presented?
- Segmentation: How will products be grouped and presented on the mobile platform (i.e., consumer, small business, and commercial)?
- Navigation and flow: How will the FI determine the organization of products by segment or user group within the app? Here, end-user navigation is a primary concern.
- Design standards: Common graphics, branding, and terminology must be leveraged across all channels.
Finally, Paterson notes, all of the above must be accomplished while accommodating the core or legacy system of record constraints, and while also providing user analytics to the leadership team.
Overwhelming? Perhaps – but worthwhile. Over the last five years, mobile banking has doubled its penetration of the retail customer base, putting it on the path to becoming a preferred channel.