New opportunities that are given to us by smart devices are making a big difference in our lives. They reduce our routines and replace them with things we’ve never had time to do before. Mobile banking is the way to simplify all our financial processes and the biggest part of banking procedures with the help of smartphones. What makes mobile banking apps so convenient and popular? What is the future of it and how banks can win by applying mobile apps? Generally, mobile banking allows to send and receive money, check account balance, pay bills, and lots more without wasting time in the long queues. There are several types of mobile banking services, and each of them has its benefits. Mobile Banking over SMS allows controlling your financial processes without installing an additional application. For this service, clients do not need the internet or even smartphone - just a phone number registered in a bank account. By SMS banking, clients request their account balance, check mini account statement, etc.. Mobile Banking over USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) is also useful for people who don’t have access to the internet and don’t own a smartphone. In this case, USSD code is used for communication with bank’s operators and checking account statement in a telephone mode. And, of course, most popular nowadays Mobile Banking over WAP (Wireless Application Protocol). This is mobile applications that we can use to avail various bank’s services: account access, bill payments, balance inquiry, fund transfers, ATM locators, and much more. The number of mobile banking applications is rising dramatically. In the UK, for example, 22 million people managed their bank’s account on a phone in 2017. CACI report predicts, this number will grow up to 35 million by 2023. Therefore, in four years 72% of the UK adult population will bank via a phone app. What makes mobile banking so popular? (the US, 2018)
Numerous banks in their development strategy are focusing on new mobile applications for users. Companies that can offer omnichannel banking software are gaining more popularity. For example, CR2, the integrated self-service banking platform, offers different kinds of software: ATM, internet, and mobile banking. Their mobile application, created by Ralabs, is a new word in communication between banks and customers. The app is adaptable to any mobile technology and optimized for SMS, USSD, too. It enables all banking services from person-to-person payments to turning cards on/off, and, which is especially important, it has a customizable interface. With a number of changeable tools, banks can tailor the app interface depending on the customer segment.  Still, there are a lot of new creative ideas on mobile banking improvement appear from time to time on the market. Banks are constantly making better mobile services. According to researchers, the biggest challenges for banks are still to improve customer experience and security, detect frauds. Challenges of mobile commerce (Worldwide, March 2018)
During 2019, we will face a lot of new fascinating trends in mobile banking from Artificial Intelligence to the newest biometric authentication. All these trends will encourage big banks and smaller financial enterprises to take advantages from modern technologies, improve current mobile wallets and create new outstanding ones. Which ideas will be more popular than others? Withdraw money from ATM by an appThis function allows getting cash from ATM without any card. Client presses the cardless ATM acceptance mark, uses QR code that will be displayed on the ATM screen, and gets a unique password on the app. With it, the client can authorize a transaction and get cash. This system is already implemented by Mastercard in partnership with Diebold Nixdorf. New ways for biometrics authenticationFingerprint scans, the most popular form of biometrics nowadays, is used on devices all over the world. Still, other approaches are confidently taking their positions, too. There is an iris scan that has 200 unique points of data, voice and facial recognition, vein pattern authentication. Which of them will be more suitable for mobile banking? Experience will show. We have already a lot of interesting examples to have an eye on. UK-based company Sthaler launched Fingopay that is scanning finger vein pattern. A similar solution was proposed by Keyo startup from the US. It’s using the veins of a user’s palm as biometrical characteristic. The US-based security company EyeVerify applies a technology that recognizes the blood vessels in an eye.
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Voice bankingWe have already seen how the biggest players on the financial market are trying to attract new users by revolutionary voice functions of mobile applications. Amazon, Google, PayPal, Bank of America, Capital One, Santander, and others are driving voice banking to a new level. According to Business Insider Intelligence, the number of voice payments users will reach over 33 million in 2019 and almost 78 millions by 2022. This technology is comparatively new, but Alexa can already pay off Capital One credit card bills, users can make P2P transfers with Siri’s help, and Google Assistant allows users to shop from stores in their neighborhood. As an example, The Royal Bank of Canada is using Siri functionality in its iOS mobile app. To confirm the transaction, the app asks for a fingerprint scan.  Human contactsDespite digitizing all financial process, some banks are using a mobile application to make their employees closer to the clients. Within Umpqua Go-To platform, clients of Umpqua bank can reach their personal banker in a few seconds. The application is free for all customers regardless of an account balance, they can choose a banker based on professional background, location, and more. Artificial helpersWith the development of Artificial Intelligence, users are waiting for a new level of personalized interactions with their bank. Still, only 34% of banks are using data to improve their customers’ experience, according to BAI Banking Outlook. The same research says over half of the millennials will switch their bank for better digital services. A lot of enterprises are moving forward and implementing evolutionary AI designs. The Varo app from the Varo Money is basically a digital money coach that encourages positive spending and savings. Moven service lets users track their spendings with personalized recommendations. Innovative thinking allows banks to be one step ahead of their competitors.  Variety of functionsMark Ranta, head of digital banking at ACI Worldwide, predict that we’ll see more convergence or partnerships to bring apps together. Users won’t look for several different apps to cover their needs. They already hanker after one convenient application to manage all necessary financial processes. As an example, Ralabs’ mobile application for CR2 banking combines mobile payment and personalized banking products. Clients can make person-to-person payments, turn cards on/off, send money between mobile phones, accept and redeem loans, and more. *** As you can see, the newest technologies push forward every financial business and help to stay relevant in the fast-changing industry. Mobile banking makes financial enterprises closer to their clients in various ways. Do you have some outstanding ideas in mind? Ralabs will help to bring them to life. Check our latest FinTech projects.