Banks and financial institutions are the cornerstones of Main St. America. Twenty years ago, it was very common to leave work early on a Friday to get to the bank before it closed. Now many Americans can count on one hand how often they walk into their local bank branch. This necessitated the need for banks and financial institutions to develop new means to connect with individuals.
Mobile financial services arrived in 2010. Over 200 million people used mobile banking services in 2010 — a number expected to double by 2013. Additionally, it is estimated that a billion people will be using mobile financial services in 2015. Worldwide, the adoption of mobile financial services is dominated by Asia, and then Europe and the U.S. Young adult males tend to use the technology more than other demographics. Small banks are rushing to adopt the technology — in some cases faster than the larger banks. Mobile has the opportunity to be a disruptive channel in an otherwise stodgy industry. Thus, the financial services industry has a huge opportunity to incorporate mobile into their business strategies.
Currently, many mobile offerings exist for financial institutions. They include SMS, tablet apps, mobile phone apps, mobilized sites, mobile payments, m-commerce and mobile money transfers. Before engaging in any or all of these mobile technologies, a bank needs to understand its customers’ needs. A sophisticated financial calendar may work for your desktop site but can be too cumbersome for the mobile version. Understanding your customers and providing them with relevant tools will lead to a more meaningful engagement.