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The Importance of UX in Mobile Banking

Posted by Bruce Steele

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Apr 12, 2016 2:39:36 PM

The Importance of UX in Mobile Banking

Like in most service-oriented industries, a terrible mobile banking experience can lead to customers looking for alternative solutions. The amount of users performing everyday tasks through mobile technologies is growing, and a mobile app may be the only channel for engagement that a bank may have.

Trust is the foundation on which the banking industry is built, and in recent years this trust has been put into question. Following the financial crisis of 2008 the banking industry is under fire with the challenge of retaining customers due to a lack trust in large banks and fleeting customer loyalty. A recent survey on industry reputations by American Banker found that the banking industry was one of the lowest scoring industries at a score of 57.55 out of 100[1].

With trust for the banking industry being low, banks will need to demonstrate a commitment to providing high-quality service to a growing base of mobile banking users.

Growing Preference for Mobile Banking

The growing rate of mobile banking adoption is playing a major role in how customers are accessing their financial services. A recent 5-year study by Javelin Strategy & Research found that in 2015, the annual percentage of customers using mobile banking services outpaced the annual percentage of bank branch visits by 6%[2]. Much of this growth is attributed to the convenience of having “just-in-time” access to information and other services on mobile phones, generating higher expectations on the services provided by other industries overtimes.

The demographic of mobile banking has also seen considerable change within the past few years. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System released a report showing that between 2013 and 2014, the age group that experienced the most growth were between the ages of 30 – 44 with an 11% increase in mobile banking users[3]. The age group with the most users are between the ages of 18 – 29 with 60% of all mobile phone users using a mobile bank services in 2014[4]. However, the age group between 30 –44 aren’t too far behind with 54% of all mobile phone users using a mobile bank service[5].

Now that more mobile phone users using banking apps, the quality of mobile banking experience has become increasingly important.

Mobile Banking as The Face of the Company

Providing a positive user experience does more than drive a customer’s trust, it also has major behavioral implications. A recent survey by Ernst & Young Global Limited observed the reasons to why customers chose to open or close their bank accounts. The results showed that the single most common reason for opening and closing bank accounts was as a result of their experience with a financial service provider[6].

Developing a high-quality banking mobile application is an iterative process that must take many factors into consider. Mobile phones are consistently adding new hardware and features that allow them to perform more sophisticated tasks in a shorter amount of time.

User Experience Is as Important as Customer Experience

A study conducted by The Financial Brand looked at the most common mobile banking features offered by major U.S. financial institutions. Some of the mobile banking services currently available by major U.S. financial institutions are[7]:

  • Check Balances (DDA, Savings: 84%
  • Transfer funds between internal accounts: 82%
  • View statement/transaction history (DDA, Savings): 79%
  • Bill Payment: 74%

Most of these services are considered industry standard and require a secure connection between the host device and the service provider’s database.

More advanced services are finding unique ways in utilizing native APIs to offer enhanced security options through biometrics for more information sensitive features. Mobile phones with high resolution cameras for eye scanning and fingerprint scanners are at the forefront of these security enhancements. According to consulting firm Aite Group, 32% of the largest U.S. banks will be offering biometric-enabled mobile banking security features within the year[8].

Mobile banking must also be optimized to perform on omni-channel platforms like tablets and wearables. Research firm, eMarketer, found that 39.5 million U.S. adults owned wearables in 2015[9]. This is expected to jump tremendously by 2018, with 81.7 million U.S. adults owning wearables[10].

As mobile technologies grow more sophisticated, customer expectations will continue to grow taller – demanding more services and convenience. Although the banking industry’s reputation is still recovering from the financial crisis, offering customer more transparency through mobile banking will help customers feel better invested through their digital accounts.

Tiempo Development over 10-years of software and mobile development experience using Agile methodologies. Our engineers are highly experienced in creating products that meet strict federal regulations with the best security practices available. For more information about Tiempo Development’s experience in mobile technologies and how worked with Annexus to bring advanced financial products, read our Case Study now!

[1] Heather L. “American Banker’s 2013 Survey of Bank Reputations”. American Banker. http://www.americanbanker.com/magazine/123_7/american-bankers-2013-survey-of-bank-reputations-1060105-1.html?zkPrintable=1&nopagination=1

[2] Daniel D. “2015 Mobile Banking, Smartphone, and Tablet Forecast”. Javelin Strategy & Research. https://www.javelinstrategy.com/node/22711

[3] Alexander B. et al. “Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2015”. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. http://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/consumers-and-mobile-financial-services-report-201503.pdf

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Bill S. “EY Global Consumer Banking Survey 2014”. Ernst & Young Global Limited. http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/EY_-_Global_Consumer_Banking_Survey_2014/$FILE/EY-Global-Consumer-Banking-Survey-2014.pdf

[7] Jim M. “Just Offering Mobile Banking is Not Enough”. The Financial Brand. http://thefinancialbrand.com/53684/mobile-banking-payments-federal-reserve-study-2015/

[8] Rachel K and Clint B. “Wells Fargo Joins Other Banks In Testing Mobile Biometrics”. The Wall Street Journal. http://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2015/07/24/wells-fargo-joins-other-banks-in-testing-mobile-biometrics/

[9] Douglas C. and Denise D. “Wearable Usage Will Grow Nearly 60% This Year”. eMarketer. http://www.emarketer.com/newsroom/index.php/wearable-usage-grow-60-year/

[10] Ibid.


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