A recent survey of 1,527 mobile banking users found a gaping void in the typical mobile banking application — a lack of technical support, tutorials and advice. Asked the one improvement they'd most like to see in their mobile banking application, 60% of these consumers said links to and contact information for technical support.
Easier navigation and chat tools would help banks improve their overall mobile banking adoption numbers, says Michael McEvoy, managing director at ath Power Consulting, based in Boston and Washington, D.C., the firm that conducted the survey.
Another thing that would help: better education about mobile banking services. "We found that many people weren't aware of some of the things that were possible; they didn't know, for instance, if their bank offers remote deposit capture," McEvoy says.
Asked what new features they would like to use within mobile banking, consumers voted strongly in favor of rewards and coupons. Sixty-two percent of consumers said they would like to store and maintain rewards points in their mobile banking app, and 61% said they would like to receive special offers, promotions and coupons. A little more than half said they would like to conduct debit transactions at a store or restaurant, 19% said they'd like to invest money in stocks or bonds, 16% said they'd like to apply for a loan, and 16% said they'd like to purchase a CD.
Such value-added services could give banks a reason to charge fees of $2 to $5 per month for mobile banking with little or no resistance, McEvoy thinks.
"It can be an overall plus for the customer if they gain more through these rewards or coupons than they're spending on the mobile fee," he says.
Consumers surveyed also showed a strong interest in mobile payments — 34% said it would be highly desirable for them to pay other people through their mobile phone, and 28% said they have an "average" interest in P2P mobile payments.
"There's an obvious interest in being able to do P2P payments," McEvoy says, especially when the feature becomes familiar. "Somebody will fill that void, whether it's PayPal or other nonbank competitors or banks."