Banks need to improve their digital offerings

Banks can enhance customer experience and enable sales at the same time by creating more personal interactions through their mobile offerings.

The latest World Retail Banking Report by Capgemini and Efma showed that the quality of a bank’s mobile service can significantly influence a young customer’s decision to choose or switch banks. Older customers, in contrast, tend to rely more on traditional banking channels.

“As early and adept users of mobile, young customers are more likely to choose or leave a bank because of the quality of mobile services it offers,” the report said.

While they like mobile banking, younger customers are less satisfied with their bank’s digital offerings compared to other age groups. “Across every dimension of mobile banking — balance inquiries, money transfers, alerts, bill payments, remote data capture, payments and mobile apps — younger customers said they were less satisfied.” the report said.
Patrick Desmares, secretary general of Efma, said that by the end of 2013, there will be more mobile devices than people. “Banks need to go where the opportunity is — and that is mobile,” he said in a statement.

In most Middle East markets, mobile ownership is 100 per cent and consumers are driven by convenience, noted Steve Hamilton Clark, CEO of TNS Middle East and North Africa.
Around 25 per cent of UAE consumers are already into mobile banking and an equal number are interested in using the same in the future.

“Consumers in these markets are already used to ATMs as a key channel, are technology friendly and treat mobile as the most important device. With the right apps, consumer education and security features, mobile banking can really grow,” he told Gulf News.

Bernardo Nicoletti, director of Pinion Services and a global mobile payment expert, agreed that mobile banking is the way to go for the Middle East region, as it has an excellent mobile phone market. He, however, advised that launching a mobile offering might take some time and banks need to hire good consultants, conduct an initial study and some pilot tests.

Mobile banking is already on the rise in the UAE, according to Homi Gandhi, head of Rakbank Direct. He said the number of customers using the service has jumped over six-fold from the first quarter of 2012 to the first quarter this year. “Today, over 75 per cent of bank customers registered for the service perform their utility payments through mobile banking.”

BNP Paribas in France has likewise created a mobile banking service that allows users to manage and view accounts, conduct mobile person-to-person and contactless payments, contact advisers online and get the latest news.

The bank utilises social media platforms to gather customer feedback.

By Cleofe Maceda Senior Reporter, Jun 06, 2013