Where next for digital engagement in financial services (Part 1)

If you were in any doubt that mobile is the platform bringing the next generation of innovation, look no further than Pokémon Go.

Where next for digital engagement in financial services (Part 1)

Since launch only a few weeks ago it has kick-started a global phenomenon, reinvigorated augmented reality technology, earned huge revenues for its creator, and boosted Nintendo’s share price dramatically.

 

The fact is, mobile is now the de facto platform of choice for today’s consumer. With the smartphone market reaching saturation point, there is simply no excuse not to invest in developing a feature rich banking experience. This includes everything from checking statements, to transferring money, paying bills, depositing cheques, opening accounts, and real time customer service.

 

In our global research into the top 10-15 percent of earners, we found that 81 percent used apps to manage their finances, and almost two thirds (63 percent) agreed they made digital payments whenever possible. The key to business success has always been to be where the customer is. In decades past, that led to the deployment of country-wide branch infrastructure, but as the digital revolution took hold, the investment now looks precarious at best. Banks are either cutting back their inventory to save costs, or experimenting with new ideas—such as being a hub for click and collect purchases—in an attempt to continue the relevance of the branch.

 

The fact that 46 percent of respondents would consider a branchless digital bank if they were to switch in future is the loudest, clearest signal yet that change is coming. With banking licences for digital exclusive banks, like Starling, becoming more common, you begin to understand just how impactful this disruption will be.