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Three Tips for Navigating the Mobile-Centric Future of Financial Services

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  • Jan 23, 2014
  • Avg.Average Read Time: 05 Minutes

There is a legion of existing content out in the public domain on theories and opinions on how to capitalize on the mobile future of our business. For the next five to ten years, this is going to be the major focus of our industry and so everyone is talking about it. But, in my observation, there are a few simple rules that always get ignored in the flurry of technology and vision, and ignoring them puts any mobile effort in jeopardy.

First and foremost is to stay focused on the value proposition to the consumer. Many organizations end up focusing too much on adding specific mobile features without giving real thought to what problem it solves or what value the consumer will get out of it. This is an area where I’ve seen many organizations – not just banks and financial institutions – go wrong. I always advocate taking a consumer-centric approach as opposed to a mobile-centric approach when developing a mobile strategy. Know who you are going after. How your customers engage will depend on their mobile behavior in relation to your brand and products. Part of this assessment involves distinguishing early adopters of technology from later comers. Early adopters might be more open to participate in pilot programs. Latecomers most often expect new tools to work smoothly and need tutorials to help them. It is important to understand these nuances so you can target the right options to the right consumers, or else you could risk alienating them.

Second, keep it simple. When it comes to mobile, the possibilities are endless. But in reality, there are probably only a small handful of mobile features that consumers actually want and will use, and these tend to be simple things like receiving an SMS alert when their balance falls below a certain threshold. My advice is to understand what the consumers’ top needs are and choose mobile features that fit with those.

This gets to the third point – weaving in new mobile capabilities to increase Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). As an example, one could increase revenue per card by layering in relevant, customized offers to create additional non-fee-based revenue streams. Similarly, one can leverage the mobile channel to proactively deliver information to consumers in order to reduce contact center costs. Prioritize by focusing on optimizing the aspects of the customer experience that are meaningful in the lives of your customers AND valuable to your company. If you followed the first recommendation, this one will follow naturally. So often, the tactics that simply address customers‘ needs (versus the flashy ones) are the mobile features that will win your payment programs greater customer retention.

As I mentioned before, so much depends on the consumer and meeting their unique needs. So it is always important to understand what those needs are and create a solution for them, as opposed to simply pushing out new mobile features. We have learned that consumers engage with what is relevant to them. But what is relevant to one may not be relevant to another. The great thing about the mobile channel is that it allows for mass customization. Consumers can make your mobile offering their own by configuring it exactly how they want or by selecting from a list of predefined personas. Mobile makes it possible for you to give consumers the power to create their own highly personal and customized experiences.

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About Author

As founder and CEO of i2c, Amir is responsible for defining a clear vision and setting strategic direction for the company. Today, as market opportunities for payments & emerging commerce continue to expand at a dramatic rate, Amir is leading i2c’s continued push to innovate the enabling infrastructure and solutions that transform commerce. Today’s consumers want choices, and Amir’s vision is to build the flexible solutions they seek in an increasingly mobile and global world. Recognized as a pioneer in the prepaid/stored value industry, Amir founded software development firm Innovative Private Limited in 1987 and led the global launch of the transaction processing platform FastCash. Propelled by the success of Innovative, he founded i2c, Inc. in 2001 to bring next-generation processing solutions to the payments industry. Contributing to the company’s expansive growth curve, under Amir’s guidance, i2c has introduced a number of industry firsts, including card-linked offers, event-driven account holder communications and gift card voice personalization.