Do customers in Asia prefer using apps or a mobile browser to access mobile banking services?
At this stage, we are seeing Apps as the generally preferred way to access mobile banking, as they can provide more of a tailored experience by taking advantage of the unique attributes of the mobile device.
How different is mobile banking from Internet banking?
We recently conducted a large scale study in the U.S. that I think is just as informative for Asia. The study had a diverse demographic audience — people ranging in age from 18 to 65, based in regions across the U.S., with personal incomes from below US$25,000 to more than US$100,000.
Fiserv researchers explored the boundaries and relationships between digital channels and devices, seeking to understand how, when, where and why consumers engage with each digital channel, at what point they switch channels, and how those channels fit into their financial world.
Their analysis surfaced several key insights that are critical to the successful delivery of digital banking services in a multichannel environment. One of these was that the consumers' financial literacy, stage in the debt cycle and financial management approach were impacting their financial behaviours and their use of various digital channels.
For instance, the tablet is conducive to visual displays of data, its touchscreen lends itself to tactile functionality like swipes and taps, and its portability encourages browsing leisurely in a lean-back posture. Since consumers expect the tablet to provide data instantly but aren't inclined to use it for data entry, it's ideal for an application that turns data insights into instant actions. The research demonstrated that consumers require positive financial outcomes, yet they don't engage deeply in financial planning activities and feel ill-equipped to make informed financial decisions. So the tablet could deliver a consumer-facing business intelligence solution that presents the consumer with a specific opportunity at the transactional level, designed to drive an immediate behavior that offers longer-term financial benefits with little effort on the consumer's part.
In contrast, a smartphone is ideal for quick and easy tasks as well as transactions on the go such as account balances or transferring funds after receiving a low-balance alert. A computer's larger screen and its use in a more formal posture, on the other hand, make it a good choice for data input and other structured work such as entering data into a budgeting spreadsheet.
The key is to deliver tailored user experiences that meet consumer expectations, which requires an understanding of how consumer mindsets and postures vary by device type.
What are some of the factors hindering banks from going into the mobile banking space?
I'm not sure if there are many banks that aren't currently in the mobile space in one way or another. However, I think many banks have had a poor mobile experience. I believe that this is largely due to the fact that they did not fully comprehend the factors described above. Thus, their mobile channel - in terms of features and complexity - was often a replicate of their Internet banking channel. Some banks are also repeating that mistake by making their tablet app a replicate of their mobile app. Banks should avoid doing so as a tailored experience is absolutely key.