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Report: Can You Bank on Your Banking App? A Survey of Mobile Banking Consumer Experience

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Varolii partnered with Wakefield Research to conduct a survey of 627 American consumers about their experience with mobile banking applications.

Varolii partnered with Wakefield Research to conduct a survey of 627 American consumers about their experience with mobile banking applications.

Published in: Economy & Finance, Business

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  • 1. CAN YOU BANK ONYOUR BANKING APP?A survey of Mobile Bankingconsumer experiences
  • 2. P2 © 2013 Varolii Corporation. All rights reserved. Varolii is a registered trademark of Varolii CorporationNo matter what you are looking for, the phrase “there’s an app for that” is usually true. However,Americans are not getting the “app-titude” they want when it comes to banking apps. New researchreveals a surprising disparity in what consumers want in an app and what they actually get from theirfinancial institution.Varolii, a leading provider of customer interaction management solutions, recently commissioned asurvey of 627 American consumers about their experience with mobile banking applications.While the majority of smartphone and tablet users (52 percent) say they have downloaded their bank’smobile application, the findings show that customer expectations now go beyond basic functionalityand reveal a strong desire for advanced, proactive capabilities.This report highlights what consumers want in their mobile banking application, the risks banks runif they fail to deliver the desired functionality or fail to adequately promote its availability to theircustomers, and ways in which financial institutions can combat this “app-athy” and drive highervalue from their mobile applications.HAVE YOU EVER DOWNLOADED AN APPFROM A BANK ON YOUR SMARTPHONE OR TABLET?
  • 3. Mobile Banking Survey Report, January 2013 / P3IF THEY DON’T USE IT, THEY’LL LOSE IT(AND YOU MAY LOSE THEM)Mobile banking apps are expected to improve the relationship between customers and their bank byproviding an easier, faster and safer way to manage their finances. Yet, if the app isn’t useful,consumers are likely to delete it.Varolii’s research shows that, of those who have downloaded a banking app, roughly 40 percent saythey have thought about deleting it. Patience is even thinner among the newest banking customers—46 percent of 18 to 34 years old have considered dumping their bank’s app. This raises the questionof where current mobile banking apps are falling short of meeting the “easier, faster, safer” desires oftheir users.Don’t risk losing momentum toward widespread adoption of mobile banking by ignoring customerfeedback. Data collected from surveys like this one and user ratings in the mobile app stores canprovide key insights on how your applications could be improved.No longer are banking customers satisfied with just checking their account balance. They increasinglywant—and expect—to be able to conduct more advanced functions like depositing checks andreceiving real-time notifications on account activity from their mobile banking apps.HOW STRONGLY DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH THEFOLLOWING STATEMENT - I HAVE CONSIDERED DELETING MY BANK’S APP?(AMONG THOSE AGES 18 - 34)
  • 4. P4 © 2013 Varolii Corporation. All rights reserved. Varolii is a registered trademark of Varolii CorporationEven if an application supports such advanced features, there appears to be a failure to effectivelypromote these to the user base. Nearly half (45 percent) believe their bank app offers only basicfunctionality, especially among those over the age of 55, who were 36 percent more likely to respondthat their application enables only basic functions over the population as a whole.Getting a customer to install your application is just the first step. User education is critical,particularly as new functionality is made available. Don’t rely solely on application updates topromote these enhancements. Feature them prominently on your website and in email.WHICH OF THE FOLLOWINGFUNCTIONS DO YOU WANTYOUR BANKING APP TO HAVE?WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING BEST DESCRIBES YOUR BANKING APP?
  • 5. Mobile Banking Survey Report, January 2013 / P5WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS A FAILURE TO COMMUNICATEMobile device users feel that a bank’s responsibility extends beyond simply providing access toaccount management features. Nearly 2 in 3 (64 percent) believe it’s their bank’s responsibility toimmediately alert them when they have a low balance or insufficient funds to pay a bill.And, the younger the customer, the more strongly he or she believes in the importance of banksbeing proactive; nearly 3 in 4 18-to-24-year-olds (73 percent) believe they should hear from theirbanks versus just over half (56 percent) of those 55 years or older.More than half (54 percent) also want to be notified if there is unusual activity on their account or ifsomeone makes a change to their account information.IT IS MY BANK’S RESPONSIBILITY TOIMMEDIATELY ALERT ME WHEN I HAVEA LOW BALANCE OR INSUFFICIENTFUNDS TO PAY A BILL.
  • 6. P6 © 2013 Varolii Corporation. All rights reserved. Varolii is a registered trademark of Varolii CorporationSixty-eight percent of consumers also report that a banking application could have helped them avoida financial problem such as a costly and embarrassing overdraft or forgetting to pay a bill on time.And, among those under 35 years old, a remarkable 80 percent believe it could have helped.While consumers want information that can help them proactively avoid a potential problem, it’s notwhat banks offer. The number one feature that survey respondents want from their banking app isnotice of irregular account activity and yet 81 percent of those surveyed say they have never receivedsuch notices.WHICH OF THE FOLLOWINGFUNCTIONS DO YOU WANTYOUR BANKING APP TO HAVE?NEARLY 70% OF AMERICANS BELIEVE A BANKING APP COULD HAVEHELPED THEM AVOID A FINANCIAL PROBLEM IN THE PAST.
  • 7. Mobile Banking Survey Report, January 2013 / P7Nobody likes to be surprised when it comes to money, especially if a bad situation could have beenavoided with forewarning. Mobile banking users think such warnings should be delivered through theirapplications. Pushing notifications of low balances, unusual activity or loan payment due dates to themobile application gives customers the opportunity to take immediate action to avoid costly andembarrassing situations. And since the mobile application itself provides the means to fix most ofthese problems, its value is reinforced with every actionable notification. Other top functions that consumers want in their banking application: • Ability to make payment on loan or bill (51%) • Notice of low balance (46%) • Transferring money to accounts outside of my bank (44%) • Depositing a check from a mobile phone (43%)This research shows that most banks are not meeting this need. Seventy-six percent of consumershave never received a notice of changes to account information while more than 68 percent havenever been notified of a low balance or reminder to pay a bill.Not only do they want to be contacted but many want to be reached on digital channels. The topways that consumers want to receive these notifications and reminders are by email (47 percent), textmessage (22 percent) and through their smartphone application (13 percent).WHICH OF THE FOLLOWINGMESSAGES, IF ANY, HAVE YOU EVERRECEIVED FROM YOUR BANKINGAPP?
  • 8. P8 © 2013 Varolii Corporation. All rights reserved. Varolii is a registered trademark of Varolii CorporationWith consumers showing such a wide variance in communication channel preference, banks andother financial institutions must find a way to economically tie their system of record to a system ofengagement. Standalone solutions for each channel will not cut it. This approach is too costly in theaggregate and runs a high risk of confusing the customer with too many messages about the sameactivity. Look for cross-channel solutions that capture and act on customer preference and orchestrateproactive communications in a way that ensures time-critical information is delivered to the customerin a way that drives them to take immediate and desired action.PUT MORE POWER AT THE CONSUMER’S FINGERTIPSIt is an exciting time for mobile applications. Banking applications are on the rise and an ever-growingbase of young consumers are using them and expecting more advanced capabilities. We live in an ageof instant information and seamless connections. As a result, the modern digital consumerexpects high-quality customer service at their fingertips. It’s clear that consumers believe bankingapps can help them, but they are not yet getting what they need.As a result, banks’ investments in the mobile banking are at a critical junction. If apps offered thecompelling functionality that customers want, we would expect usage to increase over time. However,survey results showed that nearly half of consumers are using their mobile banking app the same oreven less than when they first downloaded it.IN GENERAL, WHICH OF THEFOLLOWING METHODS DO YOUPREFER WHEN YOUR BANK NEEDSTO CONTACT YOU ABOUT YOURACCOUNT?
  • 9. Mobile Banking Survey Report, January 2013 / P9To drive greater adoption, banking institutions must take a more active role in helping customersmanage their finances and offer ways to proactively reach them through their applications withreal-time notifications of events that impact their accounts. By “interaction-enabling” a mobile bankingapp, banks can ultimately improve financial health and create a better customer experience.Beyond a mobile app, financial services companies also need a coordinated approach to reach mobilecustomers across voice, email, text and mobile apps with the right information at the right time.The rapid and broad adoption of mobile banking applications provides an almost unprecedentedopportunity for financial institutions to lower their cost of service while at the same time improvingcustomer satisfaction and brand loyalty. To fully realize these benefits, banks must meet customerdemands for functionality—in particular, proactive alerts. The more you use this ubiquitous channel tointeract with your customers and the more value-add services you enable through your mobilebanking app, the more likely customers will be to stay engaged with it—and with you.DO YOU USE YOUR BANKING APPMORE OR LESS OFTEN NOWCOMPARED TO WHEN YOU FIRSTDOWNLOADED IT?
  • 10. P10 © 2013 Varolii Corporation. All rights reserved. Varolii is a registered trademark of Varolii CorporationNotes on MethodologyThe national survey on mobile banking consumer experiences was conducted by Wakefield Research, an independentmarket research firm on behalf of Varolii, from December 3 to December 10, 2012. The 627 respondents included Americansmartphone and tablet users over the age of 18.Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by thenumber of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in thisparticular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.9 percentagepoints from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe representedby the sample.