Marketers Must Stress Security Of Mobile Banking Channels

Slow speed and lack of confidence are among the top reasons consumers don’t use mobile banking more often. People also are more comfortable banking on home computers than in branches or on mobile phones. An overwhelming majority (94%) of U.S. consumers who use smartphone and online banking describe banking from their mobile device as “easy.” More than three quarters (77%) say it is “convenient,” but only 42% feel it is reliable, according to a study released by Infosys.

“The mobile phone is ubiquitous and must be viewed as the gatekeeper to the consumer of the future.”
— Ashok Vemuri, Infosys

The survey also found that slow connection speeds and concerns about the security of their data are the two most common reasons consumers do not use mobile banking more often. One in four say mobile banking interfaces are deficient in some way — e.g., small font.

Data Protection Fears Impact Use and Customer Experience

A quarter of mobile bankers say that a lack of confidence in the protection of their data is a top concern vs. 60% among non-users. Moreover, nearly all consumers polled (96%) said they feel most comfortable or secure while banking on their home computer, edging out comfort levels even at the bank itself (93%), ATM (84%), smart phone (83%), or work computer (only 52%).

Nearly half (45%) of consumers who do not use online banking believe that mobile banking is “experimental” or “dangerous,” and more than a third (38%) say it is “scary.” In fact, non-users are three times as likely to say “scary.”and almost four times as likely to say “dangerous” than mobile banking users.

Ironically, consumers who do not use mobile banking over a lack of confidence in the protection of their personal or financial data admit they willingly share private information on Facebook via their smart phones.

Nearly 80% of all mobile banking consumers say they appreciate 24-hour access account access, but only 48% are happy with the speed of the service, and only 46% with ease of log in.

Reviewing data and balancing checking accounts are the most useful features of mobile banking (both cited by 71%  of consumers). 42% of consumers cite the ability to communicate with customer service as a useful benefit of mobile banking.

“The mobile phone is ubiquitous, and for financial institutions it must be viewed as the gatekeeper to the consumer of the future,” says Ashok Vemuri, a board member and top executive at Infosys. “Our research shows that mobile banking users like ease and convenience, but at the same time demand and expect seamless service.”

“Non-users still face security fears,” Vemuri adds. ”There is phenomenal opportunity for banks to listen to feedback from early adopters, and set the pace around customer experience in the digital world.”

Is Mobile Banking ROI Worth It?

“Clearly, consumer interest in mobile banking services is on the rise.”

Other key findings confirm the increasing volume of buzz in the banking industry surrounding the mobile channel.  Nearly 60% of all respondents say their view of mobile banking services has improved over the past year. In addition, the majority (61%) of non-users say they are likely to try mobile banking in the future. Clearly, consumer interest in mobile banking services is on the rise.

“We continue to see the business case for technology investments here, yet for many financial institutions, the newly mobile world is still a daunting place,” Vemuri notes. “To get the most ROI, banks must provide the same comfort and trust level across all channels — online, in the branch, or on a mobile phone.”

The Infosys mobile banking poll was conducted by an independent research firm between February 22 and February 27, 2012 via an online survey among 1,000 respondents in the United States. To qualify for the survey, respondents had to be active smart phone users (have downloaded an application in the past six months) and indicate that they use online banking services.

Key Takeaways: The mobile channel is perhaps the most critical to your financial institution’s future. Focus on improving the mobile banking experience by building clean, intuitive interfaces that make it easier. Pay particular attention to the login process. When marketing mobile services, you must address people’s fears by stressing security features. Don’t forget to sell the benefits: ease, convenience and financial control.

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