In December 2015, India’s mobile banking users made Rs 49,000 crore worth of transactions, up more than four times from December 2014. Indian bankers say that a substantial number of customers have taken to mobile banking without going the Internet banking route.
In a country where the Internet is accessed mainly on mobile, mobile banking is gaining traction among consumers, and not just those from the younger generations. Importantly, just as the mobile is not just a phone anymore, mobile banking is not just another channel of banking; rather, it is a platform for engaging the digital customer.
India’s progressive banks are riding this opportunity to deploy mobility in three important aspects of customer engagement, namely, the efficiency of transaction, the quality of experience, and the intensity of engagement. Firstly, by enabling transactions on mobile, banks are helping customers bank better, faster and easier. A simple example is funds transfer, which can be accomplished within a few taps on a mobile banking app.
Secondly, mobile banking is ideally suited to deliver rich, intuitive experience. The native capabilities of the smartphone make it possible to provide location-based offers, financial advice on the go, biometric-based banking, and so on. For instance, mobile banking can make tedious authentication by password and additional factors redundant by facilitating biometric identification and verification. We at Infosys Finacle call it the “death of passwords” – an idea that is deeply appreciated by all our clients.
Thirdly, customers are engaging with their banks more intensively on mobile than on channels like the branch or Internet. A research study from the United Kingdom says that British current account customers made 427 million branch visits and 895 million mobile app logins in 2015. This disparity is expected to grow sharply and in 2020, branch visits will number about 268 million only whereas mobile app usage instances will touch 2.3 billion. The data for Indian banks is likely to be a lot more in favor of mobile-led engagement due to the country’s demographic advantage and lack of reach of branches for various segments of consumers. Clearly there is a huge opportunity for banks to convert the frequency of visits into deep customer engagement.
The key question before Indian banks is whether they are doing enough to leverage this opportunity for engagement. Most banks are still oriented to delivering services to customers only after they approach them. They need to change their approach to make banking unobtrusive but ubiquitous, so that it is simply there when customers need it. An example of this comes from Poland’s Alior Bank, winner at the BAI – Infosys Finacle Global Banking Innovation Award, which devised a lending product that was approved in minutes – even real-time in certain cases – ensuring ecommerce customers in need of a loan got one on the spot. In fact engagement is the only way to establish differentiation in a business that is so commoditized. One way to build it is by improving quality of experience; another by inspiring customers’ trust and confidence by showing them that their bank has their financial well-being at heart. The mobile supports this beautifully by allowing banks to integrate and share insights with customers in real-time – at the moment of the transaction, so that they can make smarter and more responsible financial decisions.
By Puneet Chhahira, Global Head of Marketing, Infosys Finacle