Mobile banking is growing exponentially, with more than half of all Americans now using mobile banking of some kind. At the same time, mobile banking actually reduces the cost for banks, taking the average cost of processing a check from $4.70 to just over $0.10. It also adds convenience, reducing the need to travel, allowing customers to check balances or make financial decisions at any time, and otherwise engage with their bank while not actually in a branch.
By staying up to date with digital banking trends, modern banks will have a competitive advantage compared to banks who don’t offer support for mobile banking.
However, not all mobile banking applications offer value. Many applications miss key features that customers want and need. Here, keeping up with trends often means keeping up with customer expectations for quality, services, and features. These 5 mobile banking trends in 2019 will help you make the right decisions for your online mobile banking app.
1. Open (Secure) API
While banks are often – for good reason – tight with their data, opening up mobile banking APIs allows customers to do more with your app. For example, an open but secure API allows third-party applications like QuickBooks, TurboTax, and Wave to seamlessly link to your application and provide better service to your customers.
Open APIs benefit you in other ways as well, through increased customer access to data, increased banking transparency, and therefore, more room to foster trust from customers. Even world-class banks like Barclays are moving in on mobile banking trends. Secure Open APIs are also required by law in some countries, which points to a growing trend that they will eventually be an industry standard.
2. Automation and Machine Learning
Automation has been a heavy trend in online mobile banking for some time, but it’s not going away anytime soon. Banks already collect and retain a great deal of customer data. Automation and machine learning allows you to automatically apply that data in ways that benefit the customer.
For example, you can automate data to recognize financial decisions people make before taking out a mortgage. You can then pre-approve mortgage amounts based on known assets, allowing customers to immediately see what they qualify for.
Integrating this sort of machine learning into applications means having algorithms ready, but once perfected (or purchased from a banking experience platform), they can prove invaluable in keeping customers informed, improving customer retention, and in preemptively offering customers what they need.
3. Robotic Process Automation
Robotic Process Automation or RPA is a key technology in enabling 24/7 banking because it allows you to automate basic banking processes. For example, RPA allows you to auto-process deposits, cashing checks, opening accounts, adding on new services, and otherwise changing accounts. While some manual intervention is and should be necessary, especially manual review, RPA allows you to offer instant service, 24/7. Because that instant service is one of the reasons many people flock to mobile banking in the first place, including it will only add to the real value of your application and allow you to stay up-to-date with mobile banking trends.
Some of the most common RPA processes including remittance, mobile enrollment, mobile bill pay, check deposits, digital mailrooms, signature verification, account servicing, processing checks, sanctions, and trade finance. Your RPA should depend on your customer base, basic services, and where it would add value to add automation.
For example, if you typically service high-profile clients with large accounts, full RPA wouldn’t make sense, because you need some level of manual intervention and review there, simply because the risk increases with larger accounts. If you typically serve small account holders with relatively small transactions, RPA would make a great deal of sense, saving time and money for the account and the customer, with very little risk.
Why is RPA becoming a standard in 2019? It enables customers to immediately process a change to their account from an app, rather than having to wait for manual processing.
4. Conversational Interfaces
Chatbots and Voice Device Interfaces (VDI) were considered as something of a gimmick up until fairly recently, but modern technology makes them work. A high-quality chatbot can offer immediate answers and help to a customer, enabling them to do anything from getting basic FAQ help without scrolling through a website to starting questions that are transferred over to human help.
In combination with RPA, conversational interfaces also allow you to enable customers to directly open new accounts. For example, the chatbot can request specific information such as name, address date of birth, and financial information, begin the process of opening an account, and a human moderator could follow through to verify identification and validate the process.
The customer benefits from effortlessly starting processes at any time of day, while the bank benefits from the reduced total cost of customer interaction.
Here, it’s incredibly important to ensure a high-quality chatbot or interface, simply because a low-quality one will add frustration and difficulty, rather than adding convenience.
The cloud is quickly taking over (alongside Internet of Things), but it matters a great deal for online mobile banking. Here, cloud processing and cloud banking allow customers to process transactions and funds more quickly, updating processes from anywhere, without having to wait for manual server validation.
Cloud computing also allows for better exploitation of big data, reducing risks relating to hardware capacity and technical failure. This turns into a simple cost and risk reduction for the bank. For customers, the benefits revolve around speed, reliability, and efficient banking, with fewer instances of application failure or glitching, even during peak use. While cloud solutions aren’t always the correct ones for every bank, secure cloud infrastructure is extremely beneficial for mobile banking, especially as your user-base grows.
Mobile banking is on the rise and banks without applications will quickly find themselves being left behind due to speedy digital banking trends. Establishing a high-quality app, offering the convenience of instant-access to finances and fiscal information, with automation, an open API, and cloud computing will help you to compete and to continue to meet the wants and needs of consumers.
Here, your goal should be to provide a quality service, meeting the specific needs of your demographics, so that your application functions across devices used by your audience, support specific functions your customers are likely to use and need, and works at a level supporting their financial literacy.
Learn why more than 750 financial institutions are using EVERFI’s financial education services to keep up with the latest mobile banking trends of 2019.