Banking Mobile & Online Payments

Digital is in our DNA

Digital is in our DNA – a story about mobile banking. Image by Ellegant,
Written by Chris Skinner

Who’s offering the best mobile banking experience, asks Chris Skinner, and what’s this about texters walking differently?

Maslow hierarchy of needs pyramid When you have your basic needs covered – food and shelter – what do you need then? According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it’s our psychological needs: love, belonging and self-esteem. This is exactly where digital plays into our hearts. Our love and belonging is in Facebook and Baidu, which is why these are so integral to our lives today.

Then the highest level of need is self-actualisation, which is served by blogs, emails, Twitter and LinkedIn. Combined, the digital mobile world we live in today plays to our basic psychological and self-fulfilment needs, which is why it’s so addictive.

According to the Bank of America’s annual research into mobility, millennials spend more time interacting on their phone than with their partner, family, friends and colleagues.

On an average day, which do you interact with the most? Source: Bank of America?

Maslow pyramid, plus Wi-Fi and batteryAnd most Americans think their mobile is more important than sex. This is maybe why we’re so addicted to selfies and using the camera to stream our daily routines nonstop. It’s also why some joker added Wi-Fi and a battery to our hierarchy of needs … but maybe they’re right, because when we don’t have our phone, we feel anxious and bored with a fear of missing out (FOMO) on what’s going on.

Fear of missing out. Source: Bank of America.

We even walk and talk differently when we have a mobile. The University of Bath found that texters had developed a protective shuffle that prevents them bumping into obstacles, or tripping over hazards. This means that it takes those texting 26% longer to complete a walking task compared to those who were not distracted by their phones, and it’s really annoying. You know, you’re walking along the pavement and someone is shuffling slowly in front of you with that hunched-over look of someone who’s playing with their mobile. You kind of want to hit them in the back of the head and tell them to get out of the way, but you don’t because you know you do it yourself. For example, when asked if you’re too focused on your phone, we believe that we’re not, but everyone else is.

Smartphone use. Source: Bank of America.

This is the world today, and the reason why some cities are introducing texting and non-texting pavements.

Texting lanes for walkers with phones. Zuma Press.

A quick test

Just before we look at banks, a little test. Turn off your mobile phone and see how many minutes or hours you can wait before turning it back on again. Do this when you’re not in a meeting or sleeping, as in you can use your phone. I bet none of you last more than an hour.

The reason for giving this insight into the mobile digital age being part of our DNA is that if our relationships are with and through our digital devices, how does a bank become part of that world? That’s a difficult question. Most banks think that mobile and digital is a project to invest in, not a cultural transformation. But this dependency on our devices is a cultural transformation. The very fact that in a short decade we have transformed from a phone being to talk, to a phone being our lives, is incredible … but true.

Meanwhile, which banks are offering the best mobile experience? In the US, it’s Chase, according to Magnify Money. Chase was voted the best mobile banking app in the country for a large bank, and applauded by users for a combination of design and functionality. The app has a lot of the features deemed most important by consumers, which includes fingerprint sign-on, mobile cheque deposit and the ability to see images of deposited cheques. Consumers want to be able to do everything on the app, and Chase has been adding functionality throughout the year to keep people satisfied.

Forrester ranks the world’s best retail mobile banking services

Forrester benchmarked the retail mobile banking services of 46 large retail banks across four continents on 40 criteria, and found the average bank scored 65 out of 100.

Westpac outstripped the average bank by being strong in every category. The bank earned the highest score in the transactional features category and did particularly well in its range of touchpoints, account and money management, and marketing and sales.

It’s one of the few banks to enable near-field communication (NFC) contactless mobile payments. The bank has also rolled out innovative features, such as letting customers take pictures of their credit cards to activate them.

Of the other banks reviewed, nine stood out from their peers for their impressive mobile banking capabilities: CaixaBank in Spain, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) and Scotiabank in Canada, Garanti in Turkey, Bank of America in the US, Bank Zachodni WBK in Poland, Lloyds Bank in the UK, and Wells Fargo in the US.

READ NEXT: Leapfrogging the bank app to go straight to the electronic assistant

– This article is reproduced with kind permission. Some minor changes have been made to reflect BankNXT style considerations. Read more here. Image by Ellegant,

About the author

Chris Skinner

Chris Skinner is an independent commentator on the financial markets through the Finanser, and chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club, which he founded in 2004. He is an author of numerous books covering everything from European regulations in banking through to the credit crisis, to the future of banking.

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