Speed and convenience are the two main features customers expect from any service they use today. Therefore, to better understand their customer needs and offer super-fast and high-quality customer service, many businesses launch their own digital apps and banks are no exception.
Providing their customers with a banking app is a new normal for banks and financial facilities today.
While more and more users are realizing the benefits of mobile banking apps and adopting the technology, banks have to keep up with the mobile development market trends to attract even more customers and retain those they already have.
In this article, we’ll look into the advantages mobile banking offers and what top mobile banking application features banks need to incorporate in their digital solutions to stay relevant in 2022.
Advantages of Mobile Banking to Customers
When launching their custom digital solutions, banks gain a variety of benefits from them. Banks can learn about their customers more and better plan their marketing campaigns, establish an end-to-end customer experience within the communication channel, decrease the cost of provided services, and much more. Meanwhile, banking apps also offer numerous advantages to their users, the most significant are:
- convenience – customers can check their bank account balances, perform financial transactions, deposit checks, and much more, avoiding the necessity to visit brick-and-mortar financial and banking facilities;
- speed – banking app users can instantly complete any finance-related tasks, all they need is just to log in into the app;
- pocket-bank – customers don’t need a desktop computer anymore; now, they can use all the banking services on their mobile devices while going to work or staying with their families;
- improved operation control – banking apps allow tracking the history of made transactions, quickly check balance, or they can send notifications e.g. on a pay-day or when money transfers were completed successfully;
- paper documents processing outside the banking facilities – many banking apps have integrated portable scanners that allow depositing checks or entering ID data without typing;
- personalization – bank app users can customize the apps to their needs, e.g. establish shortcuts to the most used services, set payment reminders, or even get better currency exchange rates for brand loyalty;
- cost-free – most banking apps are provided free of charge for bank customers.
10 Must-Have Features That Users Require
Mobile banking apps can significantly enhance customer experience with the bank. However, to maintain their services at a high level, banks need to constantly update their apps with the latest innovations emerging in the mobile development industry. Here are the top 10 mobile and online banking features that will be relevant in 2022.
1. Advanced Security & Fraud Alerts
Advanced security is never out of fashion, especially when it comes to mobile banking apps. A successful banking app requires strong security features that go further than just signing in with a PIN or a password. Besides being secure, a singing-in process also needs to be fast and easy. That’s why many businesses embed multi-factor authentication and biometrics in their apps.
Multi-factor authentication and biometrics are the most popular solutions for banking apps. Nevertheless, they can also be hacked by hackers. Here are some steps businesses can take to enhance their app security:
- implement PIN and password encryption and hashing;
- store PINs and passwords on a server instead of the source code;
- use storage facilities for cryptographic keys and certificates, e.g. Keychain for iOS and Keystore for Android;
- use two-factor authentication with SMS for outside app payments;
- limit the number of login attempts;
- start a new session every time a user logs into the app.
2. CORE Banking Features
A CORE banking system is a unified and centralized back-end platform that allows banks to quickly perform key banking activities, e.g. accessing bank accounts, processing transactions, updating user accounts and other financial records, performing customer relationship management (CRM), and others.
Many banks have adopted this system as it allows quickly fulfilling many banking operations and can handle a high volume of transactions, ensuring uninterrupted functioning of the banking products. The technology also helps banks to quickly establish partnerships with other FinTech companies and easily scale up and down their infrastructure.
3. QR Code Payments
QR technology is quickly spreading among diverse industries, including banking and retail. Now, customers can instantly purchase any product they like and do it contact-free, which is especially valuable in times of pandemics. For example, according to the recent QR payment surveys, one-third of Chinese customers are already making their payments with the help of QR codes, and the number of Chinese QR code transactions is expected to rise by 16.4% between 2020-2024, reaching $1,900 bln in 2020.
These are just some reasons why leading banks are embedding QR code scanning technology into their apps, giving more freedom to their customers and allowing them to choose preferable payment options. Find out more about QR payments and which major FinTech companies already use the technology in their apps.
4. Mobile Check Deposits
Traditional banking is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Mobile banking apps have already substituted many services provided in brick-and-mortar facilities, yet not all the services can be performed by digital solutions. Recently one more service became available digitally, banks have started offering online mobile check deposits.
The FinTech industry provides banks with portable scanners based on OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology for mobile check deposits. Using a mobile device camera and a portable scanner in the banking app, users can scan their checks and send the documents with a digital image and recognized text to their financial institution. The deposit data goes straight to the user’s account and they don’t have to spend half a day visiting a bank branch to perform this simple task.
5. Peer-to-Peer Payments
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) payment is a convenient way to transfer funds to someone else’s account via a mobile app. Using this technology, users don’t need to withdraw cash from an ATM to share it with their family members, they can simply split up a bill in the restaurant, or pay for any services. There are many systems that offer P2P payments such as PayPal, Venmo, Facebook Pay, and others, that make money transfers between accounts easy and swift.
Recently, there has appeared a new P2P method – P2P payments with cryptocurrencies based on Blockchain. The technology can quickly transfer funds between bank accounts from different parts of the world and at a much lower cost. P2P payments with cryptocurrencies is a recently emerged innovation that is currently tested by various finance-related businesses. Read more about how Blockchain technology helps banks improve their services and update their banking apps.
6. Bill Payments
Bill payment is a basic feature provided by mobile banking apps. It allows customers to conveniently and quickly pay any bill just by tapping several buttons. Though, this useful function can become even better if smartly upgraded with some features.
For example, some banking apps can incorporate:
- automatic bill payment feature to avoid any payment missings;
- notifications on any activities that occur on a bank account, e.g. income and expenditure notifications, alerts on the upcoming payments, and so on;
- settings for recurring payments to pay daily used services or mortgages and loans;
- payment history tracking for better balance and spending habits control;
- shortcuts on the dashboard to quickly access the necessary payments, and much more.
7. Intelligent Chatbots
Smart AI chatbots have been used by banks for some time already. They make banking apps more personalized and increase service availability, providing clients support 24/7. Using chatbots, customers don’t feel overwhelmed with repetitive banking tasks as they can fulfill them in a friendly human-like conversation.
More and more banks realize the necessity to provide more personalized and faster services while obtaining more information from their customers and chatbots suit perfectly for that.
8. ATM/Branch Locator
An ATM or bank branch locator is a simple feature that is overlooked by some banks though can make a big difference for bank customers. Sometimes customers need to quickly find the nearest ATM or bank branch and spending time surfing the internet is not an option. That’s when the ATM/Branch locator in a mobile banking app appears to be really helpful.
The feature can swiftly locate the nearest ATM or a bank and provide additional information on them, e.g. their working hours if an ATM receives cash, etc. Many banks already use ATM/Branch locators in their apps, facilitating the location of the offline banking services and enhancing the customer experience with the bank brand.
9. Special Offers
Mobile banking apps can be used as an effective tool for launching marketing campaigns. This way, using their banking apps, customers can receive notifications on exclusive discounts, cashback, or personalized offers. Moreover, banks can partner with other commercial organizations and provide customers with special coupon codes for restaurants, shops, or hotels.
10. Personalized Money Management Insights
Artificial Intelligence combined with a digital solution such as a mobile banking app can add much to the customer experience. For example, based on gathered data on the app user, bank statistics, and data online, it can provide outstanding money management tips and insights. For example, it can suggest to customers which loan scheme is the most profitable based on their income, how and where to invest money, and much more.
Many users utilize mobile banking apps to track their everyday spendings and check personalized reports to improve their spending habits. Moreover, they can use special plans suggested by banking apps to start saving money or exchange currencies.
More and more banks realize the advantages of creating custom mobile banking apps for their clients. Providing these apps for free, banks manage to establish close relationships with them, make their customer approach more personalized, enhance their services, better plan marketing campaigns, and much more.
With mobile banking apps, banks attract new clients and retain the existing ones. However, to do this effectively, banks have to constantly search for FinTech development companies that can update their digital solutions with the latest banking and finance features. This way, banks ensure stable and sustainable growth of their business and meet the requirements even of the most demanding customers.