Banking Applications Development To Achieve a Competitive Advantage

The covid-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation, where consumers conduct a variety of daily activities through digital channels, especially mobile apps, including banking. Additionally, in order to keep up with the competition, the majority of banks and financial institutions have already invested in mobile banking apps development in the past years. Currently, only a small percentage of banks and financial institutions may still not have an app.

Thus, it seems like the mobile banking market is increasingly becoming saturated. Yet, if we take a closer look at these mobile apps, it tells a different picture. Having said that, there are quite a number of areas that banks still need to meet in terms of technologies and improved digital experience to meet the constantly changing demands of modern consumers.

Custom Development or Off-The-Shelf Solution

Maintaining a balance between a bank’s short-term needs and long-term growth is always important as well as difficult, especially if the bank’s digital maturity is still relatively limited.

With the strong presence of mobile banking solutions in the market, it is not surprising that different banks have adopted different approaches.

Some banks see the development of mobile banking solutions as long-term IT investments and are investing heavily in banking software solutions to ensure their competitive advantages in the future. On the contrary, a number of banks and financial institutions have also adopted a wait-and-see strategy. However, they soon realized that without a mobile banking app, they faced stiff competition and had no choice but to launch a mobile app to meet the demands of the market.

Furthermore, another group of banks, instead, opt for purchasing mobile banking software off-the-shelf because it is quick and cost-effective. Although purchasing out-of-the-box solutions can help fulfill the Bank's short-term needs, such mobile banking solutions usually have limited capabilities and are not sufficient to achieve the bank's long-term goals.

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For that reason, it is suggested that banks explore different options in which a bank can re-design and improve its mobile banking solution and make it a competitive advantage.

How Mobile Banking solutions can be improved to bring added value?

Best case user experience – offer a frictionless mobile experience for customers in achieving their banking goals.

Guidelines on how to use mobile banking apps 

As banks are constantly updating their mobile apps with new features, users need to be informed of these improvements through guidelines and/or tutorials when they access the new version of the app.

Offer Advanced Search Functionality 

If users cannot easily figure out how to conduct their banking activities needs, they will abandon mobile apps and turn to more expensive channels such as call centers or physical branches. To make it easier for users to navigate the mobile application, banks may add the ability to search using speech or suggested answers by leveraging natural language processing (NLP).

Creating a clear menu items navigation is of utmost importance to ensure a smooth user experience. Because of the nature of the mobile screen limitation, some mobile banking designers have moved the list of features to the "Hamburger Bread Symbol". Savvy social media and mobile users are often aware of this, yet some customers may have difficulty navigating the hidden lists. Therefore, banks should be aware of this matter and take appropriate actions to help customers realize the full functionalities of their mobile apps.

Use touch or facial recognition login options. 

Banks should try to keep the log-in process as simple as possible without compromising security. Banks can use biometric identification for this, which provides easy access to mobile banking apps while maintaining adequate application protection.

Enable Non-Login features

Banks can provide customers with more convenience and flexibility by allowing them to perform certain tasks without accessing the app. Mobile banking apps with an internet connection can offer features such as notification of transactions, and/or changes of account balance, etc.

Allow quick, convenient, and safe transfer

To ensure frictionless customer experience through mobile banking, banks can explore the options to combine all customer data into one single database and identify unique accounts information such as account number, email, or phone number. Accordingly, customers will be able to use any attribute to search for recipients in the list of payees (e.g. email address, phone number, etc.), which greatly simplifies the process of bank transfer or payment.

Digital Banking – enable customers to conduct banking via mobile application as quickly as possible.

Self-service banking options. 

Mobile banking should allow customers to conduct certain banking needs without having to visit a branch or interact with bank staff, especially during the times of the Covid-19 pandemic. For instance, mobile banking apps allow customers to lock their cards or limit the use of their cards for online transactions, change their PIN numbers, inform the bank of their trips abroad and disable to money withdraw overseas during their traveling period.

Banking product comparisons. 

Mobile banking apps may include a comparison tool that allows consumers to choose the best suitable financial products and services. For example, when choosing a mortgage or credit cards options.

Real-time support. 

If there is any fraud or other urgent needs, customers should be able to receive adequate help from banks as soon as possible. Banks, particularly concerned about the quality of customer service, can take advantage of 24-hour online help by adding a "contact" button that allows customers to communicate via phone or other forms of communication. Communicating with a chatbot assistant is another great way to filter out non-urgent problems for resolution.

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Allow cardless ATM withdrawals & shopping. 

Banks can enhance their mobile banking app experience with digital wallets functionality by allowing customers to withdraw money, as well as buy and pay for items directly using the mobile app. This particular enhancement can be implemented using QR technology, letting customers scan the QR code using mobile banking apps to withdraw their money.

Personalization − allow banks to offer custom-tailored mobile banking experience to fulfill customers’ needs as much as possible. 

By implementing mobile banking solutions using CRM data with Machine Learning technologies such as predictive analytics, banks can offer personalized marketing directly in their mobile banking applications. These offers are shown to customers according to their specific needs and behaviors, which help banks to achieve higher sales revenue, as well as benefit customers who will receive product offers relevant to their needs.

Banks can also leverage push notifications to improve engagement rates, notifying customers of sales and promotion campaigns based on specific locations and customer preferences.

Conclusion

With these suggested features, banks can launch a robust banking application that attracts the attention of their customers. However, if banks ignore the capabilities and interactions of the overall interface and users experience, customers may become frustrated and opt-out of all mobile banking services.
Mobile banking has become an important factor in shaping the banking landscape, banks can no longer ignore the updates and enhancement of their applications.