Last week, I was fortunate enough to be one of the keynote speakers at the inaugural Next Bank Sydney. In preparation for my presentation entitled, 'My Digital Banking Nirvana', I looked globally for mobile banking applications that were the best at being simple, encouraging engagement and being contextual.
With help from the team at Mapa Research, I came up with almost 30 components for my perfect mobile banking relationship from every region of the world. Some were completely unique, while others were mobile applications that multiple financial institutions provide.
Link to my Next Bank Sydney presentation, My Digital Banking Nirvana on SlideShare here
What Makes a Great Mobile Banking Application
In many ways, there is no difference between what makes a great mobile banking application and what makes a great non-banking mobile application. The key components are:
- Simplicity: Does the app replace a non-mobile process I do often? Does it make my daily life easier? Is it easy to use? In the non-banking world, I love the KeyRing application because it stores multiple loyalty cards in one place on my mobile phone, eliminating the need to carry plastic cards. The app also links to digital offers I can redeem without cutting coupons.
- Engagement: Does the application stimulate positive interaction, and build a better application from this engagement? For me, my Marriott mobile application does a great job. Beyond providing the standard ability to make reservations and check my loyalty balances, it also allows me to check in early, receive notifications when my room is ready and informs me about special offers through multiple channels.
- Contextual: One of the benefits of a mobile application vs. an online tool is the ability to provide value based on where I am located. My favorite app from a contextual perspective is OpenTable. Using locational functionality, OpenTable provides suggestions of restaurants based on my current location and previous dining experiences. Reward points are provided for using the app and starting next year, the app will also allow me to pay for my meal using my phone and the OpenTable application.
So, which mobile banking applications meet one or more of the above criteria and could become part of my digital banking nirvana? As could be expected, this list is fluid, since new innovations are being introduced every week, replacing previous applications that were once best-in-class.
Mobile Banking 'Basics'
As an active mobile banking user, there is some functionality that must be the foundation for my best-in-class mobile banking relationship. First of all, as covered in a recent blog post entitled, Banking Innovation for the Fat-Fingered, leveraging mobile imaging technology and my phone's photo capability simplifies mobile banking by removing keystrokes and improving accuracy. Therefore, I expect my future mobile bank to provide the following: