Mobile banking customers demand new features
By Elliott Holley
Mobile banking apps may need more features
One in three UK retail banking customers feel their mobile banking app is not as good as online banking through a browser, according to a new YouGov study . The figures also show that more than half still have yet to use a mobile banking app – suggesting that there may be both an unmet demand for more functionality in mobile apps, and a need to convince the remaining consumers of their value.
The study, commissioned by payment processor First Data, questioned more than 2,000 UK consumers about their experiences with digital banking. Of these, 58% have never used a mobile banking app. Of those that did use mobile banking apps, most people used them to:
• check their balance (89%)
• view transaction history (75%)
• transfer money between accounts (61%)
• pay someone they know (55%)
According to First Data, the data also implies that consumers want more of the functions that they get with internet banking, such as the ability to see direct debits (62%), the ability to set up new payments (60%) and the ability to see full transaction history (57%).
Despite this frustration with the capabilities of current app, the proportion of UK consumers who use mobile banking is increasing. In April, a study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research on behalf of Fiserv estimated that just over a third (34%) of UK adults are banking on their mobile – and predicted that the figure would reach 60% by 2020.
The paper, Future Trends in UK Banking, forecast that money transfers through digital channels will grow to £3.4 billion a week via mobile banking apps and £9.4 billion a week via online banking, totaling £12.8 billion a week over the same period.
Furthermore, figures compiled by the British Bankers’ Association found that banking by mobile phone and tablet has become the primary way UK customers manage their finance, and estimated UK consumers will use mobile devices to check their mobile accounts 895 million times this year, more than the 705 million branch interactions forecast for the same period.
Other mobile banking features that First Data suggested might be useful were those that would help to resolve a discrepancy, such as a transaction that the customer did not recognize in their account. These features would be things such as providing further information on the transaction (28%) or having an instant messenger chat with the bank (24%). However, most customers (51%) said their first reaction would be to phone their bank rather than investigate online. Whilst 25% said identifying the transaction themselves would be most important to them. 50% of respondents said the most important thing to them would be to identify the transaction, followed by suspending their card (19%).
First Data also said that helping customers to manage credit might be another area where better mobile banking services could help. This is because less than a third (28%) of those who have ever carried over an outstanding balance on their credit card for three or more months said they felt supported by their credit card provider to help pay off their outstanding balance more quickly. Yet most respondents (59%) managed repayments on their own, and prefer to do so (77%).
“It’s clear from our consumer survey that functionality, transactional fraud management and repayment management could all be better managed digitally, from the perspective of both bank and customer,” said Keith Rowling, managing director UK and Ireland, First Data.
Elliott Holley is senior staff writer on Banking Technology.
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