PHOENIX — What a change a year makes. The loud message at a morning session on mobile banking at the BAI Payments Connect conference in Phoenix is this: "Go big or go home."
Before, AlixPartners had talked about mobile banking “nearing” a “tipping point” – but it’s there and well beyond that now, Hedges said at the Monday session.
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The big driver: extremely fast adoption of smartphones, added AlixPartners’ Teresa Epperson. As consumers acquire sophisticated phones, they want to use them and a particular area of interest is financial services.
The AlixPartners headline: when consumers are choosing where they want to switch their financial services, a large driver is the range and quality of the mobile banking offering and, said Hedges, a reality is that most of those consumers are choosing to align with a top five bank because that is where the best and widest mobile banking services are found.
He stressed that to stay competitive – especially with the 34 and younger demographic – a financial institution has to keep beefing up mobile banking. Thus his advice to “go big or go home.”
Plain Jane mobile banking now is table stakes. Smart institutions are adding mobile remote deposit capture, said Hedges, who also pointed to a rapid spike in interest in photo bill pay, where consumers snap a photo of a bill to pay it.
Digital wallets – especially ones associated with values for consumers – also win some interest, said Hedges, who indicated that AlixPartners research show financial institutions still the preferred provider for digital wallets, according to most consumers, “but PayPal is making big gains,” meaning the financial institutions cannot assume they will hold onto this pole position.