Mobile banking: «The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated»(c)

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Mobile banking: “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” (с) Mark Twain

Over the past five years, the banking sector has experienced significant upheaval, driven not by the overall economy but by a shift towards digitalization and a reimagined approach to customer service. The emergence of new formats and collaborations, such as B2B2C, open APIs, and Banking as a Service (BaaS), has transformed the landscape. In these models, e-commerce platforms or marketplaces take center stage, while banks operate in the background. This arrangement allows fintech firms, e-commerce platforms, and other businesses to integrate banking functionalities—like payments, loans, and account management—directly into their applications and websites.

As a result, while the customer base is expanding quantitatively, banks are often relegated to an operational role, limiting their direct interaction with customers for other products. This shift suggests the gradual disappearance of traditional mobile banking, but it is not simply the end of one format and the birth of another. Rather, it represents a pivotal moment where banks have two potential paths forward:

  1. Provider Role: Banks can continue functioning primarily as financial providers, opening accounts and offering instant financing options at checkout, thereby enhancing the purchasing experience. This approach might seem the quickest and easiest way to expand the customer base. However, relying solely on this model could lead to a loss of direct contact with customers, diminishing the bank’s influence and engagement with them.
  2. Digital Integration: Banks must recognize the indispensability of digital banking, whether mobile or online. Mobile banking apps, in particular, provide a crucial direct line to customers, which is essential for a modern banking strategy. Through these apps, banks gain insights into customer behavior, enabling them to offer personalized products and services. For instance, a customer who frequently transfers large sums might be offered a high-yield savings account or investment opportunities. A satisfied customer is more likely to maintain their relationship with the bank and use additional services, thereby boosting the bank’s revenue streams.

Furthermore, some banks initially focused solely on mobile banking but later reintroduced online banking for desktop access. This return acknowledges the convenience of using a larger monitor for tasks like applying for loans or making transfers, which can be more comfortably done at a desktop.

In conclusion, the path a bank chooses depends on its business goals and development strategy. Striking a balance between current needs and future trends is crucial. By blending operational efficiency with digital integration, banks can ensure they remain relevant and maintain robust customer relationships in the evolving financial landscape.