Digital technology continues to expand with remarkable speed and ever-broadening scope across a number of technologies, devices, and channels. As it does, it is rapidly and permanently altering consumer’s expectations about their relationships with financial institutions. The mobile channel, in particular, has become ubiquitous in the financial services sector—according to the Federal Reserve’s 2014 Consumers and Mobile Financial Services Report, 51% of smartphone owners have used mobile banking within the past 12 months, representing a 48% increase from a year earlier. With over 33 million mobile devices in use to access bank accounts, mobile banking will only continue to grow at an estimated 30% a year through 2016, according to Aite Group projections. The Corporate Insight 2014 Investor Survey Report found a near doubling in mobile brokerage usage since 2011, attributed greatly to millennial investors, a growing segment that desires an increasingly robust mobile investing experience. What’s more jarring is that within the ubiquity of digital technology, only 37% of investors are “very satisfied” with their brokerage’s mobile offerings.
Given the fast-changing environment, firms have understandably been prone to integrating short-term, piecemeal tactics. However, digital expansion has become much more than just a rallying call, and it is now critical that executives invest in a comprehensive digital strategy incorporating mobile, online, and social channels, with strategic capabilities spanning from instant access and communication, to investment transparency and insight.
For financial institutions, the implications are clear: Mobile solutions are no longer a differentiator, but are instead an essential aspect of their relationship with customers—both individual and institutional. As mobile capabilities continue to evolve, it’s critical that firms keep pace with their customers’ rapidly rising expectations, while implementing the ideal mix of flexibility, speed and cost-effectiveness.
Stay tuned for “Our Take on Mobile” an upcoming VantagePoint series offering expert insights into mobile expansion.