Since 2007, mobile banking has more than doubled in use. According to analyst firm Forrester, this trend will continue, with usage again doubling by 2015, but analyst Emmet Higdon says that a few changes and realizations need to be made for mobile banking to really catch on.
According to Higdon, mobile banking lacks "any clear differentiated functionality" and "appeals most strongly to those consumers already inclined to use the mobile channel." To really gain adoption, says Higdon, "U.S. banks will need to enhance today's functionality significantly."
Forrester reports that mobile banking has undergone rapid adoption, more than doubling from 5% of online users in 2007 to 12% in Q2 of 2010. By 2015, this number is predicted to nearly double again, with one in five U.S. adults using mobile banking.
"To reach one in five US adults, as Forrester predicts mobile banking will do by 2015," writes Higdon, "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."
Higdon suggests that banks introduce innovative features like mobile remote deposit, make common activities even simpler to do by using mobile apps, and use the unique characteristics of mobile devices (such as GPS coordinates) to offer additional functionality. Why would banks want to get people accessing their accounts on the go? It's all about the bucks, of course. With the current offerings, writes Higdon, "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)."
What do you want to see in your mobile banking app? Does an augmented reality-style ATM search pique your interest or would you rather deposit checks via camera?
"The real ROI from mobile banking will come from engaging the 40% of US consumers who today do not bank online," concludes Higdon. "Simply replicating today's online banking functionality will not get the job done."