The keys to fighting fraud?

September 8, 2016
/   Insights

We're constantly being warned that fraud is one of the biggest threats facing the banking industry, but the true scale of this was revealed by a recent survey that suggests it could make up...

Cause and Effect: If you build it, will they come?

July 23, 2014
/   Spotlight

Many financial institutions assume that digital banking is lucrative because the most valuable customers happen to bank online. While there is certainly a correlation between online bankers and higher profitability, quantitative evidence suggests that...

Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services

April 11, 2011
/   Insights

Today, Intuit released the latest edition of the Intuit 2020 report, Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services, which identifies and examines four key trend areas that will  transform the financial services industry...

Fast Facts: Student Loans

January 22, 2013
/   Insights

The Financial Services Roundtable recently released another iteration of its Fast Facts, reliable, bullet-point research about issues facing the financial services industry. Topics span TARP, Dodd-Frank, insurance, lending, retirement savings and more.  Below are some updated Fast...

The Top 10 Trends in the Digital Banking Industry

December 18, 2013
/   Spotlight

2014 is rapidly approaching and as the year wraps, the Digital Insight team has pulled together the top 10 trends in the digital banking industry based on data and trends from studying financial institutions....

Making Banking Fun: Gamification in Financial Services

August 5, 2013
/   Insights

Recently, the team sat in on American Banker’s webinar, “Gamification in Financial Services: Five Proven Ways to Get an Edge,” which shared how leading brands in financial services have applied gamification to reach...

Technology M&As: The Beats Go On

May 29, 2014
/   Insights

The ongoing fascination with Apple’s $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics is entirely understandable, because it’s a cool story. However, it also says a lot about what’s going on between finance and tech.

What We’re Reading

May 5, 2011
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below. Virtual Banking Worlds Provide Tangible Lessons American...

Small Business: Perception vs. Reality

November 21, 2012
/   Insights

In the most recent election cycle, like most others before it, the one sector of the economy that got the most attention was small business.  This is the future, we were told by every...

What We’re Reading: Thanksgiving Edition

November 22, 2012
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below or Tweet @bankingdotcom. Mobile Thursday? Plans for Thanksgiving...

It had to happen, and apparently it has: In the year just passed, according to the new report “2015 Mobile Banking, Smartphone, and Tablet Forecast” from Javelin Strategy & Research, 30% of customers used mobile banking on a weekly basis. That’s officially higher than the 24% who stop by the local branch on a weekly basis, a significant milestone. For those wondering, that represents 25 million new mobile bankers in 2015 alone.

There was a time when a statistic like this would have aroused tremendous interest throughout the industry. Today, it barely qualifies as a milestone. That may be a good thing—we understand that each successive technology trend will uproot traditional practices, forcing us to go with the flow. Acceptance is surely a wiser response than consternation.

Still, being blasé is not a great idea either. Many industry institutions and professionals alike were stunned by the speed with which mobile capabilities were adopted, the hunger among (some) customers for more mobile apps, and the ferocity between competitors to get new products out there. There was, and in many quarters continues to be, surprise at the ongoing popularity of offerings from non-banking vendors, specifically technology companies.

That’s why, even before the pending onslaught of multiplying endpoints from advances such as the Internet of Things, it’s worth taking a closer look at just how well the financial services industry is keeping up with the innovations driven by mobile banking. Yes, there’s a lot more mobile-savvy customers out there, and they’re going to the branches a lot less as a result. But what exactly are they doing with those mobile apps? What more could they—and should they—be doing?

First, let’s acknowledge that most financial services institutions, including relatively small credit unions, have developed and launched branded and customizable banking apps. New research indicates that the number of financial institutions with their own apps jumped by 25% in just the past two years, and 70% of financial institutions with less than $10 to $15 billion in assets already have these tools in their arsenal. In other words, basic mobile banking functionality is essentially commoditized. It’s not a differentiator, and it’s not a particularly powerful draw. Customers aren’t thrilled by it as much as they expect it.

A potentially scarier stat is that 15% of apps changed hands last year from one vendor to another. This is a fickle market—after decades of brand building, we find that loyalty lasts only until the next big thing comes along.

So what is the next big thing? Here’s one possibility: Rather than extending the convenience of routine banking functions to devices that are always at hand, mobile platforms essentially replace all existing practices to become the only channel of transaction and communication. That might span the full spectrum from opening new accounts and managing credit card settings to accessing funds from sources far outside the traditional banking network.

In fact, while so much attention is devoted to consumer habits—which is understandable, given that mobile devices are inherently personal devices dedicated to personal tasks and preferences—the most important innovations of the future might come from the business side.

As collaboration technologies enable more enterprises to benefit from a dispersed workforce, it’s entirely plausible that mobile platforms will drive all business. This means that the office as know it will be fundamentally transformed—more colleagues will be working from across town, or the suburbs, or another city, or even another country.

This evolving dynamic will need to be fueled by an entirely different breed of banking practices, and mobile capabilities will surely be at the core of that transformation. So as much as mobile banking has already changed so much—as evidenced by the rising number of consumers who engage in mobile banking—could be it that there are far greater changes to come?

Here’s a thought: Since we’ve just learned that weekly mobile banking customers outnumber those who go to the branch—and not been particularly surprised by that—what statistic might we see this time next year that really will surprise us?


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James W. Gabberty

Gabberty is a professor of information systems at Pace University in New York City. An alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University Polytechnic Institute, he has served as an expert witness in telecommunication and information security at the federal and state levels and holds numerous certifications from SANS & ISACA.

Zachary Ehrlich

25-year-old writer, and as a native San Franciscan, I am unreasonably loyal to Bank of America, if only for their superhero-like origin story, involving the 1906 earthquake and Italian fruit vendors.

Brad Strothkamp

Marisa Mann

Marisa Mann brings over 15 years of experience in consulting and financial services industries to the Solstice team, working on large scale enterprise initiatives across many technologies, including specializing in the digital space – Internet and mobile. Mann is passionate about mobile and the endless possibilities for the enterprise, delivering business value through strong brand recognition and driving to excellence in the consumer experience. Prior to Solstice, Mann worked at JP Morgan Chase, Diamond Management and Technology Consultants, Washington Mutual, Inc, and Accenture.