There’s been a lot of talk about mobile banking this year, with customers now expecting always-on, always-available solutions to assist them with all of their banking needs. Whether they are making online payments or simply viewing their account balance, online banking continues to be an attractive option for the on-the-go consumer. Banks know that they need the right infrastructure in place to ensure secure, fast and reliable mobile transactions.
Recently, CenturyLink Canada surveyed Canadian banking executives and found that delivering anytime, anywhere customer service to be a top priority. However, the same survey showed that 46% of respondents felt they didn’t have the IT infrastructure, systems and processes in place to meet present and future customer expectations for mobile payments and on-the-go banking.
Taking a look at how banks are responding to mobile innovations, our recent Canadian financial services whitepaper “Banks: Customers Expect that You’re Always on and Available, are You Ready?” shows where Canadian banks are at risk of falling short, and more importantly, what they can do about it.
Here are five of the most important ways that banks can win the fight for mobile banking – and the infrastructure to support it:
- Realize that mobile is king
Mobile devices are now ubiquitous within Canada. According to the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, mobile device penetration is now 100% amongst 15 – 64 year-olds.
A recent report showed that of the 88% of survey respondents who own a mobile phone, 87% of them used online banking at least once a month and 54% conducted mobile banking transactions. The same survey showed that 24% of Canadian consumers who own a mobile phone used a mobile device to make payments via online banking, with a mobile app or at the point of sale.
The growth of mobile banking isn’t anything new, but the past year has seen some sizeable developments in the space. Google Wallet and Apple Pay are game-changers for the payments business, adding powerful technology competitors to the financial services industry. With the explosion of mobile and the opportunity for mobile wallet and online banking technology, it’s no surprise that handset and software developers are moving into the financial sector. Since mobile is king, it’s only natural that more companies will be vying for the crown.
- Understand your customers
In recent years banks have made great efforts to improve customer experience, extending hours and providing easier access to core services. But the days of nine-to-five banking are long gone as customers demand an in-bank and online experience that better reflects their own schedules, and needs for that matter. While these changes have been essential to maintain customer loyalty, they don’t address the bigger issues of consumers expecting always on and always available service. Many Canadians of all ages now live a digital lifestyle and expect their banking services to reflect their internet and mobile services: always on, always available and open for business 24/7.
- Understand your limitations
While Canada’s banks are great at many things, the realities of changing technology are often difficult to keep up with. Mobile banking has created always-available expectations from customers and some banking executives are having a tough time keeping up with the pace of innovation. The survey reveals that apart from mobile banking technology, more than 40% of executives surveyed said they don’t have the IT infrastructure to meet customer expectations for core banking services while nearly 70 per cent said they don’t have the infrastructure in place, or it needs improvement, for digital channels.
These are sobering stats from the top of Canada’s banking industry. At the same time, there is a silver lining in that banks understand their own limitations, which is the first step to finding a solution.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
New innovations and technologies from non-financial industries have created a landscape in which Canadian banks must be both financial institutions and technology leaders. The only real way for banks to do this is to find the right solution providers to support their growing technology challenges. In short, don’t be afraid to ask for help and outsource for expertise.
CenturyLink’s financial services whitepaper found that seventy-eight per cent of executives surveyed said that customer demand for new digital or mobile-based services or applications would make them outsource more. The white paper also reveals that more than 60% of executives surveyed noted that the ability to offer infrastructure for scalable mobile applications and services is a key requirement of an IT service provider.
- Play the long game
The world is changing and businesses of all shapes and sizes must adapt. As mobile adoption increases and competition for mobile banking heats up, forward-looking banks understand that strategic technology partnerships and outsourcing for success are necessary to propel their business into the future.
CenturyLink can help identify and implement the right technology solutions to face industry challenges — balancing the back-end technology needed now — while developing a technology strategy for the future. Mobile banking is here to stay. It’s time to plan ahead.
For more insights from our new financial services white paper, download it here: Banks: Customers Expect that You’re Always on and Available, are You Ready?