Mobile & Online Payments UX

Knab and other great apps – keep thinking mobile in 2013

Knab and other great apps – keep thinking mobile in 2013. Image: Knab

Auke Douwe Veenstra highlights the importance of having a solid mobile strategy that takes into account the user experience, like Knab.

A few weeks ago, the four largest Dutch banks revealed that the number of app users had doubled again in the past year. Dutch mobile phone users are checking their current balance twice as often via their phone as they do via their PC. Unsurprisingly, activity peaks around payday. Given that mobile can be seen as the most important development in financial services in recent years, it’s time to get your mobile act together. Digital teams at financial services firms should think seriously about adding relevant mobile touchpoints to their distribution channels. What does this mean for specific sectors of the financial services industry?

Mobile is crucial for retail banking

As my Forrester colleagues Peter Wannemacher and Tiffani Montez show, mobile banking isn’t just a business opportunity – mobile banking is an imperative. As we can see from our Dutch news story, mobile banking is now growing rapidly in some countries and will displace online banking for everyday tasks such as checking account balances, viewing transaction histories, making transfers, and paying bills. Great design is key, however. One nice example is the mobile app from Dutch banking challenger Knab, in which interactive design and functionality deliver convenience and simplicity, as you can see above.

Mobile will change the way insurance companies market, sell, and deliver services to customers

The smartphone is at the center of the opportunity for insurance companies. Digital insurance professionals must tap into the power of mobile context to deliver the right information at the right time, empowering customers and agents. This varies, from finding new ways to engage with customers or using smartphone features such as sensors for the underwriting process. In the health insurance arena, mobile solutions will help effectively manage costs by encouraging customers to look after their health. In the UK, Aviva has developed the My Stress kit. The app helps users identify what’s raising their stress level and then manage it. To learn more about the state of mobile insurance, read my latest report, The State of Mobile Insurance in 2013.


Keep in mind that there are three rules you must follow to ensure that your mobile initiative is fully adopted and successful. Every app must comply with the following elements:

  1. Immediacy. The app must deliver content when customers need it most. Immediacy is timeliness that’s not limited to an exact measure of minutes or hours. For example, customers will want to know immediately that a tow truck is on the way, or where they can find the nearest ATM machine when they need cash.
  2. Simplicity. This removes usability hurdles. Simplicity is driven by the right decisions on the content, services, and features that make sense for mobile, as well as how well mobile experiences are designed. Simplicity must be revisited regularly, as the pace of change in mobile technology knocks down some usability barriers and creates others.
  3. Context. This makes content relevant to the customer. We define mobile context as the sum total of what your customer has told you and is experiencing at the moment of engagement. You can read more about this topic for banking teams in The Mobile Banking Imperative.

The pace of development and adoption is picking up, so it’s time for digital teams at financial services companies to start thinking mobile. Share your ideas or experiences on how mobile has added value for your customers in the comments section below.

This article was updated 29 January 2016.

About the author

Auke Douwe Veenstra

Auke Douwe Veenstra is an independent observer of financial markets and the fintech industry. He is head of Europe and South America at Cloud Lending Solutions, a SaaS lending platform provider. For more than 25 years, he worked in the retail financial services industry. He has a track record in business development, general management, and digital business strategy in executive roles at a range of financial services companies in the US, Mexico, and continental Europe.


  • Interesting. I do not agree though that “mobile” is the most important development. It is the shift in using different mobile devices, what they are using mobile devices for and when. And how that influences their buying behaviour. The real questions are: what are my best customers doing? What are their preferred channels and when? And what do I have to do to retain them and to turn them into ambassadors.

    The reality is that in general customer experience with the large Dutch banks is low as a their online/mobile/digital customer experence. And that is not likely to improve with the current “me-too” mobile & online banking strategies in The Netherlands.

    Too much focus on technology and not enough on mobile/online customer experience for customer retention.

    Twitter: @dagboekbankier

    • Tony , thank you for your comment and point of view ! I do think that Mobile is a game changer in banking because ,as the blog and statistics indicated, consumers are using more their mobile devices than their PC’s for daily banking routines, like checking the account balance etc. A clear sign that mobile is relevant for all customers and appreciated because it’s delivers a contextual experience. You are absolutely right, technology is not the issue here it’s the customer experience that counts !

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