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2017 The Future of Mobile Banking
Even if you don't use it, by now most of you have surely heard of fingerprint authentication or "TouchID". This innovative technology allows for greater security and easier access to a number of mobile apps, including banks'. TouchID is just the beginning though, here are some other cool features for mobile banking we can expect to see in 2017 and years to come (sorted by category).
Imagine browsing autos, checking financing options, and receiving pre-arranged price quotes to take to dealerships. Or doing the same for the home-buying process. Well you don't need to imagine it anymore! We can expect to see more banks offer loan application integration with their mobile apps, so that a new loan can be applied for and received in mere minutes. We will see this scope expand to lines of credit and credit cards too.
We know that some banks offer real time text message alerts when accounts drop below pre-set minimums with the option to text back with fund transfer instructions. But alerts will become more extensive and responsive to customer needs. Simple Bank based in Portland, Oregon provides notifications when transactions have been received. And Bank of America offers an alert for essentially all your banking needs. More banks will adapt this functionality to provide better monitoring and financial management for its customers.
Picture an app that syncs with users' online accounts and budget goals, calendars, bill pay, recent activities, piggy bank, and a wish list of savings goals. PNC Virtual Mobile Wallet does just this. But today we're seeing PFM tools expand even further due to pressure from disruptors such as Mint and Tink. Some of the functionality we will see in bank-provided PFM tools will include automated savings, dynamic goals, automatic retirement planning, spending forecasting, “safe-to-spend” balance, integrated loan offers, investment options, advice and guidance with clickable directives to act on this advice, incentives for healthy financial habits, visualization of goals/spending/etc., real-time push notifications based on analysis of expected transactions, and peer bench-marking just to let you know how you compare to others
Just to make it easier to handle your finances, account aggregation will undoubtedly become an industry standard. More cool features to look for include setting a debit spending limit based on merchant category (i.e. retail stores), hidden savings accounts to prevent overspending, gamified financial management that rewards and engages users, and lastly but still important the ability to view your credit score.
Near Field Communication (NFC) has already changed the industry (think Apple Pay), and it will continue to grow substantially as more players enter the field. P2P payments will become simplified and real-time through integrated solutions such as Zelle, the largest threat to Venmo. Mobile remote deposits, the once shining feature of mobile banking apps, will continue to improve in efficiency and efficacy. Remittance will become more of a commonplace reality in apps and paying bills will become easier than ever by simply taking photos of them when adding new payees.
As customers move away from the branch, we will see banks utilize social media integration in terms of both communications as well as in-app functionality. Think of Venmo and its socially-based platform, banks will adopt a similar sort of integration though with greater discretion and security. And don't be surprised when your bank reaches out to you over Instagram to encourage opening a savings account. Except it won't be humans in charge of this, all communications will be shifted to an AI capable of analyzing customer trends in order to best engage them. Humans will be still be available though, actually more so than ever as 24/7 support could become table-stakes for banks. But it's becoming less likely you'll ever see them in person; instead video chatting is becoming the preferred way to connect banks and their customers. And then of course, secure messages will play a greater role in banking apps and be real-time so users are always up to date on their finances.
TouchID is only the start. The next wave of biometrics will rely on visual and voice authentication. USAA has already incorporated these features. Capital One uses voice banking in tandem with Amazon's Echo. These authentication measures will proliferate across the industry after their flaws are fixed. Minor but key features will also become standard such as scheduling travel dates, freezing and unfreezing debit cards, and ordering a new card all in-app.
Ease of Use:
Forget having to go to the bank to open an account. It will all be done online, particularly through mobile. And it will be easier than ever to start or finish applications between mobile and online. How you might ask? Because you will simply sign your name with your finger and provide identity verification (i.e. driver’s license) simply by taking a picture. Account openings will take less than 5 minutes. Apple Watch and other wearables will have more banks involved and more functions integrated. Multi-language functionality will become more common, particularly among national banks. And ordering new checks will be a standard function, though debit and ACH are increasingly becoming the dominant form of transactions.
The Drivers for these Functions
Customers are increasingly taking control of choosing products and increasing the number of providers used. Social media is playing a larger role in spreading knowledge about banks. Banks will need to rethink their strategy and use new communications to reach customers and explain why their products are worth looking at. Integration of these mobile app features will help strengthen their position in the market.