Mobile Banking – The New Way to Serve Customers
The Middle East region is the base for the wealthiest of customers and it comes with no surprise that banks need to go an extra mile to delight their customers to retain them. According to a report by E&Y, “47% of the Middle East banking customers rate ‘Customer Experience’ as the most important factor”, placing customer service at the heart of the industry. With technological advancements and innovation, customer service is being redefined.
Today, the scenario has changed. Customers no longer need to visit the bank; the bank’s services are available to them anytime and anywhere, in the form of “Mobile Banking”, the new definition of customer service.
Mobile banking is the fastest growing segment in the banking sector and is now a critical part of the banking strategy. Customers in the Middle East are analysing the mobile services of a bank before deciding which bank to select. The fact that smart-phone penetration has reached 75% in UAE (the highest usage of smart-phone in the world according to Google study), 70% in Qatar, and 60% in Saudi Arabia, emphasizes that mobile banking is an inevitable offering that the banks now need to provide.
“According to a KPMG report, mobile banking users will double globally by 2019.”
The mobile banking application helps the customer save time, reduce efforts and increase convenience. Everything is just a click away on a smart-phone, saving enormous amount of time and effort which would otherwise be required to visit a nearby branch.
The RFi’s 2015 survey on UAE revealed that 57% of the smart-phone users are using mobile banking, and only 36% found the application to be good.
Another study done by iProspect and Arabian Business in 2013 stated that 53% of the UAE bank customers wanted to switch to a better bank because of poor customer service. The banks should understand these pain points, and proactively look for ways to enhance customer service. They need to adapt themselves to the new technology, and provide a comprehensive mobile banking application to act as a differentiator for them.
“A good mobile banking application not only meets the need of the customer but also acts as a ‘delight’ factor.”
Mobile Banking is much more than just providing easy access to financials, instant view of transactions, or facilitating daily bank account maintenance. It has now evolved: customers can handle their end-to-end loan cycle, which includes checking detailed loan summary, outstanding principal balance, previous EMI transactions, amortisation schedule, applying for loans and much more, all through the smart-phone around the clock 24/7/365.
Another aspect of mobile application is its design and user experience which is playing a major role in enhancing customer experience. Traditionally, customer service was perceived as ‘how well they were treated by the bank’, which comprised of how they were treated by the staff, how smoothly the work was done, and how much time the work took. However, with the new definition of customer service, customer avails the services of a bank through its application, which is where the design and user interface come into play. The Mobile application’s design, look and feel, the ease of use, and the range of facilities it provides are now the parameters based on which customer evaluates the service. Customers initiate their relationship with the bank through their smart-phones first to judge the customer service. Through the mobile applications, banks have an opportunity to create a positive customer experience for existing and potential customers.
E&Y states ‘Customer experience’ as the most common reason for opening and closing of accounts, more so than fees, rates, locations and convenience.
Investing in this technology has also proven to be cost effective for Financial Institutions. They no longer have to invest in tele-banking, manage high customer traffic in branches, and can even cut down on the number of the branches. According to Deloitte, “The cost of processing a transaction via mobile phone can be as much as 50 times lower than doing so via a branch.”
All in all, financial institutions need to leverage the Mobile Banking Technology to deliver excellent customer service and differentiate themselves from the competitors.
Nucleus Software’s Mobility Solution, part of the FinnOne Neo lending product suite, understands the evolving customer expectations and empowers banks to provide customer service excellence. It continues to innovate to build solutions that incorporate the latest technological needs of the banking and financial sector.