Realizing ROI for Mobile Banking

By Shirra Frost

Today’s consumers live on the go and expect their financial services to maintain the same pace, making mobile banking integral to most financial institutions’ digital strategies.

The challenge for financial institutions lies in driving adoption among their online banking user base past the 40% mark, which represents an average rate of adoption, to the 50% mark or beyond, a number more commonly seen among financial institutions that actively market the service. These banks understand the return on investment mobile banking can deliver and find success by developing clear strategies and roadmaps for delivering and marketing mobile services.

A recent Fiserv study showed that financial institutions can see an increased return on investment—up to $1.6 million for credit unions and $2 million for banks—by driving additional mobile banking adoption and usage. Mobile banking is also linked to lower attrition rates. In the study, mobile banking users generated 72% higher revenue than branch-only customers and were less likely to leave their bank or credit union.

Financial institutions looking to build a successful mobile banking strategy and increase their mobile adoption rate should keep the following recommendations in mind:

Provide Robust Features and Functionality

Consumers expect a wide range of mobile banking features that enable them to access financial services anytime, anywhere. Robust features and functionality, such as mobile deposit, person-to-person payments, actionable alerts, instant balance, and tablet banking will facilitate greater adoption and usage. The features and functionality of mobile banking should also be supported across multiple operating platforms and devices to attract a wider customer base.

Steps to make enrollment and login procedures simple and convenient will address some of consumers’ main mobile banking pain points: usefulness, accessibility, and ease of use. Adoption of the service can be directly impacted by the financial institution’s anticipation of these needs.

Market the Benefits and Address Concerns

Financial institutions should be proactive in marketing the benefits of mobile banking to potential users. Practices such as displaying information when consumers log into online banking or bill payment provide an opportunity to promote the benefits of mobile banking and can also facilitate cross-sell opportunities.

Cross-selling mobile banking is important to the financial institutions’ strategy because mobile banking users drive traffic in other channels. A recent Fiserv whitepaper found that while mobile banking users account for about 15% of the customer base, they are responsible for nearly 40% of the total point-of-sale spend. Transaction frequency was also higher among existing mobile banking users, meaning mobile users use more services, more often.

Social media channels should also be a part of any mobile banking marketing campaign. Compelling imagery, short videos and links help increase the effectiveness and reach of posts. Social media channels also act as an outlet for consumers to provide feedback or contact customer support. Opening this line of communication creates another way for the financial institution to be proactive in its relationship with the consumer.

In addition to highlighting the benefits of the service, it is also important to proactively address concerns, such as security, which is a top-of-mind issue for consumers when it comes to mobile banking. Outlining the security measures in place at the financial institution will build confidence and assure them that their financial data is safe.

Encourage Adoption through Offline Channels

Those consumers still banking via traditional methods—branches, call centers, and ATMs—can be reached via the channels in which they interact.

Financial institutions should engage front-line staff to promote mobile banking services and encourage them to utilize their regular interaction with consumers to introduce new services. For instance, when a new account is opened or a debit card is issued, it is also a good time to discuss mobile banking and how it can enable customers to monitor and manage their finances.

Automatically enrolling new customers in online and mobile banking allows consumers to easily decide, and be ready, to start using mobile banking when they want.

A mobile banking user is extremely valuable to a financial institution. However, if a consumer enrolls in mobile banking and never transacts on the channel, that value is lost. Once consumers are enrolled in mobile banking, strategies should focus on getting mobile bankers to use mobile bill pay or person-to-person payments, transfer money or make a deposit. Financial institutions that realize the value of this consumer, and devote resources to a proactive strategy, will benefit from a return on investment and expanded consumer base that offers continued opportunity for growth.

Shirra Frost is Director of Product Marketing at Fiserv, a financial services technology firm based in Brookfield, Wisc. Email: shirra.frost@fiserv.com.  

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