Banks Need to Shift Mobile Focus to ‘Money Management’

The majority of people use their mobile banking apps to check their balance. This is a fact that does not surprise most in banking, many of whom believe the industry’s focus on “money movement” as opposed to “money management” is hurting engagement levels.

Focusing on the movement of a consumer’s money, or P2P capabilities, has the unfortunate effect of turning a bank’s mobile app into an “old-fashioned checkbook registry,” as stated by James Anthos Jr., director of strategic planning at BB&T, on LinkedIn, sparking a discussion regarding what financial institutions should be focusing on instead.

Just because a bank offers its consumers a P2P feature within a mobile app, does not mean that users will “suddenly start sending money to people,” said Peter Orlovacz, head of online systems for Virgin Mobile (the mobile division for Virgin Airlines).

As a customer, how much of your life you want to spend on managing your money? (Aka ‘engagement’ in your app, branch, whatever) As little as you possibly can, there are much better things to do. Besides, most of the ‘banking’ you do is the same every month. Just because your bank has a p2p feature, you won’t suddenly start sending money to people. Commerce, trust, identity (maybe) are areas banks could make a difference for the customer, but these are quite different from their current business model.

Instead, banks should shift their focus towards making the essentials of banking “dead simple,” according to David Talbot, director of architecture and strategy for Everbank. “Balance, Recent Transactions, Transfers, Bill Pay. If the experience on those is dead simple and world class it hardly matters weather or not you have the latest blockchain powered millennial attractor 2000 ™,” he commented.”

So what can banks do to improve those essential features, and keep adding new (relevant) ones? Well, it’s simple, according to Walt Cox, assistant vice president, payments, for Redwood Credit Union. “Very well said – check book registry! The lack of functionality in mobile banking apps is atrocious. If FI’s want something different than play ‘ol vanilla mobile banking, they need to dig deep, hire talent, and start building. I mean who wants to be a check book registry?”

Check out the rest of the discussion here, and the original post here.

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