Monitising mobile

I have been harping on about for a little time now: the scope in the not too distant future for banks to monetise mobile banking.

Asked for suggested conference and roundtable suggestions by a couple of sponsors recently, I proposed debates on how best to monitise digital banking and payments.

At various debates and conferences I have asked for a show of hands asking if the time has now come for banks in certain jurisdictions to consider charging for mobile banking and mobile payments.

So I am obliged to SNL Financial for undertaking a survey asking the key question:

 Would you pay $3 a month to use your bank app?

SNL Financial’s Mobile Money survey was conducted in February in the US across a nationwide random sample of adults that included 4,371 smartphone bank app users: one-in-four said that they would pay $3 a month.

Interestingly,the super-rich and those with a low income were least likely of bank app users surveyed to want to pay for their bank app. The most willing to pay $3 per month of the four income groups surveyed was the upper-middle income bracket ($75,000 – $149,999) at 30%.

As SNL suggests, making money from mobile banking apps might take a more nuanced approach than a monthly subscription fee, for instance, charging a percentage fee per mobile cheque deposit could be a way to monetise app usage.

It will be interesting to see if any banks in the UK, once mobile cheque deposit takes off, consider charging a nominal fee for the new(to the UK) service.

Meantime, an outstanding report hits the inbox courtesy of the BBA and Accenture: ‘Digital Disruption’

Crucially, the report looks at theopportunities created by digitisation. These are notjust cost-saving opportunities but what digital can offer customers in terms of new experiences.

In 2014, 45% of UK customers surveyed by Accenture who had purchased a banking product in the previous twelve months did so through the internet channel, with a further 6% claiming to have done so via a mobile device.

This trend will accelerate to the extent that within a few short years, we will see the majority of all consumer purchases of banking products taking place through digital channels.

One simple example from the report will suffice as regards the opportunities created by digitisation. Step forward Nationwide and take a bow: In June 2014 Nationwide launched two innovative new features for its app, Quick Balance and Impulse Saver.

Both features have proved to be incredibly popular with a third of active users opting in to Quick Balance and on average using the service six times a week.