Increasing customer engagement through mobile banking
Consumers in both developed and developing countries have embraced their mobile devices to check balances, make payments and conduct other financial activities. As a result, mobile banking has become a must-have offering for financial institutions. However, many are still working out how to go beyond the basics to add value for customers, increase engagement and maximise the return on the mobile channel investment, writes Geoff Keast
Real-time mobile messaging and marketing is emerging as a way for financial institutions to not only reach customers through the mobile channel, but as a way to increase customer engagement while fuelling desirable product use. This strategy goes beyond presenting customers with a menu of activities when they log into mobile banking, to present them with suggestions about the products and services that can help them better manage their financial lives. It’s going beyond “what do you want to do,” to “what can I do for you.”
Maximising the value of the mobile channel
Bank of Ireland is one financial institution that is breaking new ground reaching customers through the mobile channel. With almost universal adoption of smartphones in both the Irish and UK market and a rapid change in consumer banking, an advanced mobile banking offering had become more important than ever. When Bank of Ireland originally introduced its Android and iOS mobile banking apps, built on Mobiliti Edge from Fiserv, in 2012, one of the primary objectives was to customise and extend its mobile services to keep up with changing technology and growing customer demand. The bank has delivered on that objective with an ongoing program of enhancements, including SEPA-compliant apps, person-to-person payment functionality, mobile top-up and a mobile messaging and marketing capability.
A standout of these enhancements has been the mobile messaging and marketing capability, which facilitates customer engagement and cross-sell through real-time, in-app communication.
Mobile messaging and marketing has redefined the way customers interact with Bank of Ireland. Dynamic messages and advertising from the bank are modified in real-time, enabling customers to find out more information about a product or service, click-through to call the bank, or view external marketing propositions – all from within the mobile banking app. This gives Bank of Ireland a way to engage with a captive audience of increasingly mobile-only customers as well as cross-sell and upsell services where appropriate.
The mobile messaging and marketing capability includes:
- The ability to embed images in the mobile app that open up other Bank of Ireland apps on the user’s device (“App Icons”)
- A click-to-call functionality straight out of the app
- Advertisements that can be placed on certain screens in the app
- A content management system built into the Mobiliti control centre that allows bank staff to maintain the Key Messages and App Icons
- Analytics and reporting via Google Analytics that allows the bank to track effectiveness of their messages/icons
With the mobile messaging and marketing capability, Bank of Ireland’s mobile banking customers get a tailored user experience including targeted messaging and relevant marketing. The capability allows customers who are interested in a particular service or product, or who want more information, to take immediate action through a click-to-call function. Enabling customers to dial a bank representative straight from the mobile app saves all involved time and effort. Ads can be based on any topic, from mortgages to fraud alerts. In addition, other Bank of Ireland products and services, such as loyalty offers, can be easily and quickly accessed.
An analytics and reporting capability provides the bank a real-time view of mobile banking activity and engagement. The bank can then use the Mobiliti control centre to modify messages or ads seen by the customer in real-time based on performance. Campaigns can be modified to be more effective and the bank can also reach out proactively and directly to consumers who have shown an interest in a particular product.
Engaged customers and revenue opportunities
Since the initial deployment of the mobile banking apps, the bank has been able to customise, scale and extend the platform to meet consumer needs and business objectives. Within six months of launching the mobile messaging and marketing capability, the bank saw hundreds of thousands of click-throughs on messages to customers and tens of thousands of new product and service enrolments. Of those, a significant proportion accessed Pay to Mobile, the bank’s person-to-person payments, to sign up for this new service. Many more accessed the bank’s revenue-generating Foreign Exchange service. There is also a continued focus on translating the bank’s real-time messaging capability into a powerful advertising tool and an in-app source of sales generation.
It is clear that the mobile channel is now a crucial part of banking services in economies across the globe and in markets like the UK and Ireland. As consumers move to mobile and use call centres, branches and even online banking less, the ability to reach them effectively through mobile marketing is essential. Going beyond the basics to deliver a tailored experience that anticipates customers’ needs and which can be adjusted based on real-time feedback delivers real value for customers. Consumers are coming to expect instant, personalised and convenient service in every interaction, and financial institutions that are able to deliver will be rewarded with increased customer engagement and product use.