When we look at our Technographics data on mobile banking adoption by bank, it’s clear that some banks are doing much better than others. Why?

  • Some banks are lucky. Some banks have distinctive brands or propositions that have earned them a customer base that is younger, better educated and higher income than the population as a whole. These customers are more likely to own smartphones, more like to use the mobile Internet, and more likely to be technology optimists. That makes them pre-disposed towards using mobile banking and so relatively easier to persuade to adopt mobile banking.
  • Others have just worked hard. The rising tide of mobile Internet adoption is not raising all boats at equal speed. Some banks have persuaded far more of their customers to use mobile banking than others. The secret of their success? The digital banking teams at the most successful banks have worked long and hard to design, build and promote mobile banking services that meet their customers’ needs.

There’s no magic potion that will quickly persuade a large proportion of your customers to adopt mobile banking. The reasons customers give for not using mobile banking are too diverse to address with any single tactic. Instead, the research we’ve done for our new report on Best Practices In Mobile Banking shows that the digital banking teams who are having the most success at driving mobile banking use have worked with other functions across their organizations to do four big things well:

  1. Understanding customers’ needs (Customer Intelligence). It’s easy to assume that customers want to use mobile banking for the same things they use online banking for. And it is true that most common mobile interactions are the same high-frequency interactions like checking balances and transferring money that customers do in every channel. Leading digital banking teams have worked with market insights teams to study and listen to their customers to discover latent needs that mobile banking can fulfil. First Direct in the UK is a good example. The bank not only solicits feedback directly from customers on its First Direct Lab website, its chief executive Mark Mullen uses video to respond to customers, make clear that the bank is listening and set expectations about the timing of improvements.
  2. Designing great mobile experiences (Customer Experience). Successful digital banking teams are working closely with customer experience and application development colleagues to design and build mobile banking services that are based on a deep understanding of customers’ mobile needs using user-centred design processes and extensive testing to make sure that apps and mobile sites work in a mobile context.
  3. Letting customers know what mobile can do (Marketing). Surprisingly large numbers of mobile phone users still say that they don’t know whether their bank offers mobile banking or that they don’t see the point of it. Successful digital banking teams are using a wide variety of marketing tactics to educate their customers about the benefits of mobile banking and reassuring them about mobile security.
  4. Driving use by meeting needs and making it easy (Channel Strategy). Ultimately, people won’t adopt anything unless it’s useful (or they are forced to, which isn’t an option here). Successful digital banking teams make it easy to log in, help customers understand how to use mobile banking and persuade them to keep using mobile banking by helping them do things either that they can’t do any other way or that are just easier on a mobile phone.

The full report with lots of examples of what leading digital banking teams are doing well is available to Forrester customers here. We’d love to hear of any other good practices or great examples you have seen as we continue our research on mobile banking.

Benjamin and Myriam