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Learn the essential elements of mobile banking apps: account management, transactions, security, and user experience and understand how these work together.
The fundamentals of a mobile banking application
Banks are facing increasing competition and rapid changes in their customers’ habits. According to a Business Insider Intelligence’s study, 89 % of respondents said they currently use mobile banking. Therefore, to remain competitive and meet their needs, banks must offer reliable and user-friendly online and interconnected banking services.
Mobile banking applications are an important way for banks to engage with their customers and provide them with instant access to their accounts, allowing them to manage their finances efficiently and conveniently.
In addition, mobile banking apps can also offer additional features such as real-time notifications, spending alerts, and budgeting tools, which can help customers make informed financial decisions.
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In short, these applications are essential for banks wishing to provide a quality customer experience and remain relevant in a constantly evolving market.
Let’s take a look at the essential features that a mobile application must have to be comprehensively useful for users in their daily banking activities.
What are the essentials in which we need to think about when doing a mobile banking app?
1. Clean user experience: faster and smoother use of the application
Mobile banking applications tend to display a lot of information in a restricted area. This information needs to be readable and understandable by everyone, taking into account possible disabilities. It remains essential to design tools that fit in most people’s everyday life.
That’s why designing a simplified user experience is key in the process of creating a banking app.
Identifying what different kinds of users are expecting to get from the app is a crucial step to address this issue. A/B Testing and UX user testing are powerful tools to deploy in order to design relevant functionalities for users on a daily basis.
2. Alerting: users always informed of their account activity
Alerts and notifications represent a powerful way to interact with users without needing to directly open their applications. Natively integrated, strongly adopted by many applications, notifications are convenient to use and well-known by the mobile user community.
In a mobile banking context, notifications are useful in different cases:
- Alert for an immediate action needed: a typical use case is a strong authentication required with a short transaction expiration time.
- Inform the user of a major and sensitive event: transfer process, balance level alert, new document to sign.
3. Tracking of user activities: constant and agile improvement of digital presence
Tracking how users interact with the application is one of the most powerful tools banks can have at their disposal to provide the best experience to their clients. With full activity data, banks can use it to improve the daily performance of their digital channels:
- By tracking how users engage with different features, banks can identify which ones are the most popular and which ones are not really being used or misplaced on the app.
- By identifying unstable or broken features as soon as the users encounter them, and be as proactive as banks can to fix them, without having to rely on explicit user feedback or bad public reviews.
By revamping the features to improve user engagement, optimised and bug-free applications can help to revitalise the image and positioning of the bank to its customers.
4. Immediate and automated contact with the bank: secure and instant communication
Maintaining contact with the customer to resolve their queries, requests or emergencies requires a function in the mobile application to make this communication bridge. Within the solutions there are different options to respond to the user’s requests :
- A secure messaging solution, which allows direct contact between client and advisor, easy and fast transmission of information, documents, and even signing them in a digital, secure and confidential manner. It is of great importance for a customer to know that despite being far away from their bank, they can communicate with it safely and efficiently.
- An automated messaging solution with a bot, through which the customer can resolve frequent questions about the handling of their accounts, problems with their card, balances, operations, as well as communicate quickly and instantly with an advisor, among others.
Through these customer-bank contact solutions, users will feel more confident in their relationship with their financial institution. Likewise, it is a great advantage for the bank to be able to solve its customers’ problems quickly, avoiding overloads in its other customer service channels, whether by telephone or at service points.
5. Strong Customer Authentication: reliable security in all transactions
Mobile banking transactions require a trustworthy and secure authentication for all end users. In that way they will feel confident to make payments, transfers and other transactions through the digital channel offered by the bank.
Within the application, this strong authentication system must be so well integrated that the user can execute it easily, smoothly and quickly. At this point it is also important that the bank provides an authentication and securitisation solution that is compliant with European and local regulations (PSD2, EMVCo, eIDAS, GDPR, …) in order to optimise the customer journey while providing a high level of security.
6. Mobile payments: Ensuring secured transactions in the palm of your hand
A must-have functionality for mobile apps, if a bank wants to stay at the forefront of digitalisation, is the possibility for its customers to make payments directly from the application. Currently, there are different possibilities to guarantee the continuity of payments through applications.
On the one hand, we find tokenisation. A “token” is a unique set of digits which replaces the usual card number and lowers the risk of fraud. Those tokens may be used by payment applications (such as Paylib), so that cardholders can pay easily and securely with mobile devices instead of plastic cards.
On the other hand, we increasingly find the influence of digital currencies, emerging from public and private sector entities that aim to digitise currencies. When leaded by a central bank initiative, CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) such as the digital euro can be integrated into a digital wallet that allows to keep in a secure way your assets to make reliable payments.
Digital wallets should consider design implementation cautiously to allow deposits, withdrawals and day-to-day payments, in a faster and safer way. It contributes to both a better customer experience and a better guarantee for the bank to offer additional services with the convenience and security of its clients in mind.
Mobile banking applications are established as another channel of connection with the user, but above all as an additional presence of the bank, accompanying its customers in their daily banking activities, such as helping them to make informed financial decisions and providing them a way to execute selfcare operations, like loan applications, e-signature for contracts, etc, providing a secure, quality service that meets the user’s expectations. At the same time, a well-structured mobile banking application provides multiple benefits for the bank, among which we can find savings in response times to requests and problem handling, improving its image with its customers and staying ahead of market demands.
Overall, well-built mobile applications are essential for banks looking to provide a quality customer experience and stay relevant in a constantly evolving market.
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By: Nicolas Bouheret (Head of Mobile Banking, Worldline) and Laurent Bonnefoy (Mobile team Expert)
Originally published at: Worldline