This blog post is a collaboration between Peter Wannemacher and Nicole Dvorak, who also collaborated on Forrester's brand-new report on this topic.

As former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg once tweeted, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it and you can’t fix it.” Digital executives at banks must understand and gauge the drivers of mobile banking in order to boost engagement. To help executives and their teams accomplish this, Forrester recently built a driver analysis model to identify which factors increase mobile banking app use (as measured by the number of days used and the average duration of a session). This model included two categories of potential drivers: perceptions and behaviors. The full results of this research are detailed in our new report here.

Here are three key takeaways from our research:

  • Feelings of accomplishment fuel mobile banking use. The degree to which a mobile banking app helps a customer feel positive and accomplished has the largest impact on how often that customer will use mobile banking. This is further evidence that architecting positive emotional experiences is crucial to maintaining an engaged mobile banking audience. At leading providers, digital business execs and their teams will accomplish this, in part, by focusing on bank customers' mobile moments.  
  • Alerts increase mobile banking engagement. Mobile alerts drive increased mobile banking frequency: Those customers who set up or receive account alerts log into their banking app nearly two more days per month than those who do not use alerts. In fact, alerts usage is one of the two most powerful drivers of mobile banking engagement. As such, digital banking teams should invest more heavily in their alerts offerings. This will include expanding alert types, rolling out in-app alerts and in-app secure messaging, and making it more convenient for customers to manage their alerts within mobile touchpoints.  
  • Ease of use decreases the time spent on bank apps — and that's a good thing. The degree to which a customer believes a mobile banking app is “easy to use” affects how long that customer stays on the app on a given day. But the most important finding from our data analysis is the direction of this impact: Increased ease of use actually decreases the time spent on a bank’s mobile app. In fact, perceived ease of use has the greatest impact on the length of each mobile banking session. That easy-to-use mobile banking apps lead to shorter mobile sessions is revealing: For many mobile tasks, customers prefer short and sweet interactions that let them get in, complete their objective, and get the heck out.

These finding have implications beyond mobile. Boosting digital engagement is essential to bank executives larger task: Digital business transformation. We urge you to read our full report to get the details of our data model and to see our in-depth analysis of what this means for bank executives.