Looking Ahead at Mobile Banking

By Kathleen Craig

I recently hosted a lively session with great bankers, where we talked about what’s next in mobile banking. So many valuable ideas and insights came out of the session that it seemed wrong not to share it. Check out our discussion, and see for yourself what’s on the minds of your mobile-minded peers.

In the session we covered the mobile:

  • Landscape
  • Adoption
  • Evolution
  • Innovation
  • And of course…where we are today

Here are a few highlights from each section.

Mapping the mobile landscape.

More and more of everything is going mobile, but when we really think about mobile banking, there are 4 major areas:

  • Mobile Banking – General account information, alerts, transfers and mobile deposit capture are in this area.
  • Mobile Payments – Traditional bill pay, person-to-person, and device payment fall into this section.
  • Mobile Point of Sale (POS) – Can you say Square? This also includes any card reader that attaches to a mobile or table device.
  • Mobile Incentives – Loyalty and rewards programs and discounts are in this category.

Looking at mobile adoption.

The good news is, if you have basic mobile banking, as of today you are still doing just fine. The top 3 most common uses of mobile banking are still:

  • Checking balances and recent transactions
  • Making internal transfers
  • Account Alerts

Of course this is rapidly changing, and we all need to be aware of what is out there. But honestly, although the media and industry publications are constantly telling us that everything is the next “Uber of banking,” so far we are all still pretty basic in our needs from mobile banking.

Even Apple Pay with all of the power of Apple behind it is struggling to gain a solid foothold.

Understanding mobile evolution.

 As I said though, things are evolving. Think back to just a few short years ago when mobile deposit was viewed as something so new and innovative.

Mobile deposit very rapidly went from “nice to have” to need to have on your mobile roadmap.

Mobile payments is another area to keep your eye on. While I do not yet think it has reached critical mass, there are several companies outside of banking doing it really well.

Starbucks is a great example of mobile payments success. You attach your card or your Apple Pay, and you can easily pay with your phone at any Starbucks.

Other companies in addition to Starbucks, such as Uber and Panera, are really hitting it out of the park when it comes to a mobile application that brings together all of the necessary components of mobile. They have basic transaction and history information, payment capabilities, and rewards all baked in to one easy to use application—and the user satisfaction with these apps shows.

When we think about mobile banking evolution, we have to look outside of our industry as well as within it. That’s because as companies big and small—and from all industries—continue to make their mobile app experience better and better, the consumer expectation of banking mobile capabilities continues to go up.

Marveling at innovation.

One of the more fun innovations currently in testing is “selfie payments.”

Anyone who is a Facebook user has probably had their picture scanned as they upload it so that Facebook can make suggestions of who is in the picture.

With selfie payments, the end-user loads a primary picture, which is uploaded into their facial recognition software. The next time you go to pay, you select your selfie payment app, and receive a text telling you to hold your camera up. The app asks you to blink to ensure that you aren’t a fraudster entering a previously taken picture. Then poof—your payment is accepted and you are all set.

Taking measure of where are we today.

 While doing a selfie payment is novel and sounds fun for the millennial set, many of us are still struggling to just get our mobile banking app into the hands of our account holders.

Here are a few tips you can use today to help with your mobile banking strategy.

  • Know your bank and your market.
  • Know your numbers—you need those analytics!
  • Know your vendors—and push them.
  • Create a roadmap.
  • Make it easy.
  • Market the features you do have.

What’s the number one reason cited by those who are not using mobile banking? Bet you already guessed it.


Many people still don’t trust mobile. So at minimum, reminding folks of your security measures and assuring them it is safe is a great place to start.

Kathleen Craig is the President of HT Mobile Apps. Kathleen has been in banking since 2008, most recently as the consumer eServices leader at a community bank in Michigan. Kathleen’s specific focus in digital channel strategy gives her insight into the latest mobile banking trends. She founded HT Mobile Apps to push beyond traditional mobile banking platforms to find fun, innovative ways for community banks to tap into the app experience. Email: [email protected]. Twitter. LinkedIn.

Hear more from Kathleen when she presents at the ABA Bank Marketing Conference, September 25-27, 2016.  We look forward to seeing you in Nashville!  

Online training in digital, mobile and social media from ABA.