Are you ready for a world where you can apply for a mortgage and have a full range of banking services at your disposal through a phone app? The end of banks as we know them seems to be getting nearer as worldwide banks feel the heat to become competitive in the mobile transaction sector or face loss of market share. A recent study by Bain & Co. sheds light on why banks are feeling the pressure and what is at stake for the winners and losers. The Bain study points to the fact that banks are already cutting costs by shunting customers from branches and call centers into digital methods of interaction. And customers seem to prefer going digital as well.
Banks save money when customers can transact via digital channels, thanks to manpower savings and the reduced likelihood for errors. Banks are looking at mobilizing a full range of the services they provide beyond money transfers and account maintenance, and include activities such as taking mortgage applications and resolving cases of fraud. Will this revolutionize the banking industry? Here, we at GET.com will take a look at the implications that this could have for both the banks and the consumers.
To the extent that a bank's mobile services save consumers time and reduce mistakes, customers are more likely to prefer electronic interactions.
When a follow-up is necessary, mobile bank customers increasingly expect to do so via a digital chat or other real-time options instead of contacting a call center or visiting a branch.
In time, this will allow banks to save staffing costs for product specialists stationed at branches. Digital channels will also allow banks to cut the complex service and sales activities they perform at branches.
The bottom line is that mobile banking increases customer satisfaction and reduces bank costs. A bank that fails to compete in this market is risking its future.
Here are the major findings of the Bain study:
1. The majority of consumers worldwide would miss their wallets/purses less than their mobile phones. In fact, 79 percent of respondents from South Korea and China would prefer to lose their wallets instead of their smartphones.
2. Mobile apps that handle routine bank transactions are 33 percent more likely to please U.S. customers than are branches and call centers. This has the effect of increasing customer loyalty and retention, as well as boosting referrals and repeat purchases.
3. 26 percent of customers utilize mobile devices to purchase or research bank products.
4. Frequent users of mobile apps in the U.S. are 40 percent less likely to switch their business to another bank.
5. Bank customers who frequently visit branches are 3 times more likely to switch banks. It seems that familiarity breeds contempt, at least as far a bank branches are concerned.
6. On average, there is a decline of 16 branch interactions for every 100 mobile interactions. Pushing mobile interactions is therefore in the interests of both the bank and its customers.
7. In the U.S., you are 2.3 times more likely to become annoyed by a visit to a bank branch than by a mobile interaction with the bank.
8. The U.S. has more routine branch interactions than do many other developed countries. For example, people in the Netherlands have ¼ the number of branch transactions than do Americans.