Just as the world of commerce has changed drastically in the last decade, the banking industry has seen some rapid changes in the past couple of years. Leading for-profit companies have yielded great results by launching mobile apps—increasing their customer base and gaining loyalty by creating value with consumers. Banks have joined the ranks with other big brands to leverage the benefits that a mobile app can offer customers.
A Successful Pivot from Brick-and-Mortar to a Mobile-First World
Non-profits can take a cue from for-profit companies -- including banks -- that have used apps to provide flexibility, utility and community to their customers. Today’s customer is used to the convenience of managing various aspects of their professional and personal lives on their phones and managing finances is no exception.
To compete for customers and meet consumers’ expectations for comprehensive financial management and secure banking through a mobile app, many banks have reduced branches and digitized their services.
According to Citi Bank's 2018 Mobile Banking Study 8 out of 10 people (81%) use their phone to manage their money on nine days in every month, on average.
"Mobile banking use is skyrocketing as more consumers experience the benefits of greater convenience, speed and financial insights driven by new app features and upgrades.” (Alice Milligan, Chief Digital Client Experience Officer for U.S. Consumer Banking, Citi Bank).
Digitizing Traditional Services
As always, people expect banks to securely handle their money and help them manage their finances by protecting their information and providing services that help them feel more comfortable about managing their money. Instead of having to use a teller, a bank machine, or speaking with a representative, the power to take control is literally their hands.
The industry’s best mobile apps provide the following services so members can feel confident about managing their money 24/7:
· Secure login using fingerprint or face or voice recognition
· Push notifications on account balances
· Mobile deposit using phone’s camera with funds available immediately
· Bill pay options with due date reminders and recurring payment options
· Setting and adjusting spending limits on cards
· Suspicious activity alerts
· Ability to lock or unlock cards
· Transfer of funds from one account to another
· Spending insights by categorizing spending habits to help create budgets
Giving Millennials and Gen Z What They Expect
Mobile banking takes online banking a step further by making many features practically instantaneous, which is what Millennials and Gen Z expect. Using the advanced native security features of a smartphone, i.e., face recognition or thumbprint, provides a level security that makes online banking feel as safe as it is convenient. Mobile deposit using a phone’s camera means customers can deposit a check immediately with a picture through the app. Some banking apps, such as Chase, make ATM cards unnecessary because they connect directly with your mobile wallet. No need for an ATM card to get cash out!
Millennials and Gen Z are not big on cash transactions and writing checks seems to be an antiquated and inconvenient process. They rely on peer to peer payment (P2P) apps to split bills and send payments to one another. Popular P2P payment apps such as PayPal, Venmo and Zelle are linked to bank accounts or cards. Venmo is owned by PayPal and is a middleman between banks while Zelle is bank-backed and operated directly through bank and credit union apps.
The use of P2P payment apps will grow by double digits across all age groups through 2021. A recent Forbes article reported that consumers moved more than $172 billion in funds to other people through their banks in 2018 and nearly $142 billion through PayPal. More than 400 banks and institutions of all sizes have integrated Zelle as a free service into their apps so that customers can directly send money to other individuals who use Zelle.
With new generations come new trends and new ways of innovating and interacting. The banking industry seems poised to meet its younger customers where they are and give them the security and tools to handle their finances from their phones. As the digital transformation occurs across industries and markets, you must adapt to the needs of your customers and members. That’s advice you can take to the bank.