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Must Have Mobile Banking

Posted By Carie Schelfhaudt, McDougall & Duval Advertising, Saturday, March 2, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, November 19, 2013

While mobile banking helps create a more holistic customer experience, it now seems the service is a vital aspect of customer acquisition.

Last month,The Financial Brandreported in its "Mobile Banking Now Vital to Customer Acquisition” that mobile banking is a required feature for financial institutions today. FindABetterBank.com’s bank comparison tool revealed that 18.3 percent thought that mobile banking is a "must have” feature now, a 63 percent increase from 2010! Even more insightful was the fact that more than 88 percent of survey respondents said they are currently mobile banking users.

Are financial institutions keeping up with demand?The Financial Brandarticle notes that in 2010, less than 30 percent of the featured financial institutions offered a mobile banking app, compared to more than 82 percent that offer the service now.

It seems many institutions agree that mobile banking is a "must have” feature today, but we were curious to learn more. We asked NEFMA member institutions, Dime Bank and Claremont Savings Bank, about how each launched mobile technology — and the banks approached it quite differently.

Connecticut based, Dime Bank was an early adopter of the technology, launching its mobile banking application in June of 2010. This differentiated the bank from local competition — large and small — which were not yet offering mobile services.

"Since we are always trying to add additional conveniences that our customers want, we invested in the technology early on,” said Diane Papadakos, Vice President, Director of Marketing & Sales at Dime Bank. "It also helped us reach the younger generations who were most interested in the service early on.”

To promote the launch of their app, Dime Bank used a combination of in-branch signage, website messaging, statement stuffers, Facebook posts and print and radio advertisements. Though some customers embraced the app right from the start, a significant increase in users came in April 2011 when Dime Bank launched its mobile website. In the two years since the launch, the bank experienced a 1,073 percent growth rate in registered mobile banking/app users.

"This is only the beginning. We anticipate our numbers may triple in the coming years due to high demand and the increased number smartphone users,” Papadakos said.

On the flip side is Claremont Savings Bank in N.H., which just launched its first mobile banking application in February 2013 — a time when 75 percent of their local competitors already offered it. Marketing Coordinator, Jaime Richardson attributed the timing to the bank’s cautious and customer-focused approach to banking.

"We took time to complete our due diligence,” said Richardson. "We wanted to make sure that whatever functionality we offered would be most useful to our customers.”

To promote its new service, Claremont Savings Bank focused its efforts into a four-week, multi-pronged campaign of online advertising, social media marketing, print and radio ads, as well as communications in-branch and on automated teller machines. In July, the bank will make another big push to secure mobile banking users as many students prepare to leave for college or the workforce. Success of these campaigns will be measured in August — and the bank has established a way to track its return on investment.

"Early on, we identified a percentage of customers who would most likely use the product and evaluated Call Center communications to determine who was looking for simple transactions that could be offered via a mobile service,” said Richardson. "Then we attached a dollar amount to those identified customers with a per transaction price, and this amount will be used to determine ROI.”

ThoughThe Financial Brandstory didn’t mention what features of mobile banking were "must have” for users today, the banks we talked to have their own opinions, stemming from the fact that they must stay up-to-date with customer demand. As a result, Dime Bank hopes to soon offer bank-to-bank and person-to-person transfers, and Claremont Savings Bank is exploring how to roll out mobile bill pay and mobile banking for business account customers.

Tags:  mobile banking 

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