Mobile Banking Only?

Should banks focus solely on mobile and tablet banking, or should they treat online banking for PCs with similar priority?

With the rapid expansion of smartphones and tablet devices, more and more consumers are using their smartphones and tablets to conduct their daily activities as replacements for their personal computers (desktops, laptops). Personal computer sales have been declining in previous years, and tablets already outsold laptops in 2013.

Given this trend, it’s no wonder that banks’ attention is shifting towards mobile banking, and focusing on mobile and tablet banking applications has become a key priority for many banks. But should banks focus solely on mobile and tablet banking, or should they treat online banking for PCs with similar priority?

PCs are not dead

Consumer behaviour analysis suggests that PCs still have an important role to play in the everyday life of consumers.

Consumers use different devices during the day, and the choice of device is driven by the user’s context: where we are, our attitude and state of mind, the goal we want to accomplish and the amount of time we have:

  • Smartphones are most often used for spur-of-the-moment activities, when we need information quickly and immediately. Smartphones are the backbone of our daily media interaction and help keep us connected.
  • PCs are primarily used for task-oriented activities that require lots of time & focus. They keep us productive and informed, and provide a powerful mouse-and-keyboard interface with multiple windows and multitasking.
  • Tablets keep us entertained: they are primarily used at home for entertainment and browsing in a relaxed and leisurely manner.

According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), time and motion analysis conducted by banks in Australia shows that customers generally prefer to access digital banking services via:

  • PCs when they first arrive at work;
  • Mobiles while they are commuting from work to home, or ‘on the go;’
  • Tablets while they are at home during the evenings.

Users also tend to move from one device to another during the day to complete a task: according to Google, 90% of users use multiple screens sequentially to accomplish a task. Smartphones are the most common starting place for online activities across multiple screens, while many activities are completed on a PC: for example 61% of online shopping is completed on a laptop.

Mobile vs. PC usage across customer segments

Mobile Banking uptake data also indicates that some customer segments still prefer to use PCs over mobile phones when performing daily activities:  according to PwC, 52% of Baby Boomers in Australia prefer to use a PC rather than small screen mobile phone. Also, although 96% of Baby Boomer customers own a mobile device, only 8% use digital banking via a mobile device. As these customers tend to be asset rich and profitable customers for banks, it is therefore important for banks to cater to the preferences and needs of these customers via sophisticated online banking services that support their device of choice.  

Omnichannel digital banking

To cater to consumer behaviour and device usage patterns, the best strategy for banks is to provide an omnichannel digital banking solution supporting online, mobile and tablet devices.

Offering an omnichannel solution doesn’t mean that every functionality should be replicated in every device type: as consumers turn to their devices in different contexts - where we are, what we want to accomplish and the amount of time needed etc. - therefore banks should tailor the user experience, processes and marketing to each device type. Banks also have to enable users to move across devices: the sequential device usage pattern makes it imperative that banks enable customers to save their progress between devices when performing any activity.

Offering an omnichannel digital banking solution can provide significant benefits to banks: according to PwC, customers using multiple digital devices are likely to have more banking interactions, hold more banking products and are generallymore profitable. 

Conclusion

Rather than focusing on a single device type, banks should provide consumers with an omnichannel digital banking solution: as offering customers access to a variety of digital channels gives them the freedom to bank how they want, when they want. Therefore, an omnichannel digital banking solution with strong PC banking should be at the forefront of digital strategy for any bank catering to the retail customer segment.

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