Missing the Mark on Mobile Banking

  • JJ Hornblass
  • February 10, 2011
  • 1

How are banks missing the mark on mobile banking?

In sum, banks are not properly positioning the banking channel, according to a new Forrester report.

The heart of the matter:

“Lacking any clear differentiated functionality, mobile banking appeals most strongly to those consumers already inclined to use the mobile channel,” said Emmett Higdon, analyst at Forrester, Cambridge, MA, in a blog post.

“Unfortunately, this segment is dominated by those already using online banking,” he said.

“As a result, banks are not realizing the full benefit of switching customers to cheaper servicing channels, but instead are seeing cannibalization of one low-cost channel—online—by another—mobile.”

To reach one in five U.S. adults, as Forrester predicts mobile banking will do by 2015, U.S. banks will need to enhance today’s functionality significantly to create a unique value proposition that resonates with both online and offline consumers.

That is if banks can think about mobile banking with a fresh perspective, so that it evolves as the unique channel that it is.


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JJ started the first iteration of Bank Innovation back in 2007, and has been working on it ever since. He also serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of Royal Media, Bank Innovation’s parent. He founded Royal in 1995 and oversees all aspects of the New York-based diversified media company. Prior to forming Royal, JJ was on the editorial staff of American Banker, the daily newspaper, and worked as an editor of a business magazine in Hong Kong. As a reporter and editor, he has won journalism awards from the National Press Foundation, Newsletter & Electronic Publishers Foundation, and the Reader’s Digest Foundation. He has a BS in Economics from Yeshiva University and a Master’s from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He was also a Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School of Banking. He lives in New York City with his wife, two daughters, and son. He counts among his accomplishments one New York City Marathon, two New York City Triathlons and the 2010 Father’s Day 5K, the first race he ever ran with his daughters. He can be reached at hornblass@gmail.com or 212-564-8972.

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One thought on “Missing the Mark on Mobile Banking

  1. JJ, The latest report I have seen from Nielsen indicates that feature phones are going to be overtaken by smartphones by the end of this year. I agree with you that it all comes down to usability, but I think that the percentage of consumers who end up using mobile banking will depend on how well banks incorporate all of the uniquely valuable functionality of the mobile channel (which Barry talked about in his comment) into a seamless user experience.

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