Forrester Research has released its new Building Next Generation Mobile Banking Solutions 2013 report, an incredibly timely piece of mobile research that explores the movement toward mobile banking solutions and the struggles encountered on the way.
The mobile world is already abuzz with the latest banking software innovations. In emerging markets and developing nations, mobile banking has been touted as the solution to poor infrastructure and distant population centers (the latest nation to adopt the solution is Peru). In the industrial world, banks like Green Dot have already developed structures that are entirely based on mobile apps without any physical banking locations. The prevalence – and precedence – of mobile banking is undeniable. If Forrester is correct, banks will face an uphill journey in perfecting this new technology.
Tiffani Montez, the author of this mobile research report, commented on her Forrester blog that, “Digital banking executives are feeling the pain of their current mobile banking platform.” All the attention that mobile banking has gained is causing an app-rush and need for mobile-optimized smartphone and tablet sites that is leaving banks scrambling.
Banks are experts at creating swift, effective strategies. Their financial success is based on responding to the market with appropriate services. However, digital banking is still a fresh field, and mobile services are new territory for financial institutions. Many banks have rushed to create a mobile banking solution that does not solve customers’ needs, or has too many bugs and security issues to be truly effective.
The banks that produce usable mobile designs run into an adjacent problem: their apps and platforms are typically short-term in perspective. They do not have a long-term mobile strategy or solutions for next generation mobile networks and devices, and are not ready with scalable mobile architecture that can handle future challenges.
The Vendor Route
To surmount the unwieldy challenge of building mobile technology departments from the ground up, many banks have outsourced their mobile strategies to third-party vendors. These vendors, typically mobile and web architecture specialists, develop solutions for financial organizations that want to offer services to on-the-go customers.
When banks find dependable, competent vendors, the synergy often overcomes modern challenges. Outside companies have more freedom to develop fast, flexible web services on whatever platform works best for the bank. A strong example is Citibank, which offers a mobile and tablet app for customers in addition to a mobile site and text-based banking options. In just 12 months, Citibank’s mobile banking transactions exceeded $10 billion in 86 countries. Such complete integration allows banks to meet customers whereever they are at, then adjust separate mobile channels as technology shifts in the future.
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