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10:15 AM
Lisa Stanton
Lisa Stanton

It�s Time for Mobile Banking to Grow Up: How to Decouple From Online

The initial step towards a mobile-first strategy has to be cutting the mobile channel loose from online banking.

Now that mobile has become a permanent fixture in the banking industry, it’s time for banks to start thinking about decoupling their mobile offerings from online banking services. Tablets are slated to explode in popularity in the coming years, and PC sales are continually decreasing, demonstrating that mobile is here to stay. If financial institutions want to drive adoption on mobile, they must start to move away from online banking (OLB) centric credentials and enrollment approaches and instead embrace the “mobile first” attitude that customers demand.

Think about it: If a potential customer downloaded your app with the aim of signing up for mobile banking services and received a directive to create a login online, she or he would be instantly turned off. The power of mobile means the power of instant access, whenever and wherever, and consumers expect banks to serve them in this way.

This login predicament is a direct by-product of legacy online banking implementations. For most financial institutions, online banking was the first venture into a truly digital channel, and often credential storage was provided as part of the authentication approach. However, now, online banking predominantly appeals to those that spend large amounts of time frequently at a computer -- undoubtedly a limited group -- and on-the-go consumers are ready for a streamlined mobile solution. For banks that are ready to pursue a mobile led strategy, their credential storage must follow suit. Providing increased flexibility across all digital channels, by decoupling online banking and mobile, gives financial institutions greater control over their digital destiny. And, it will serve to increase adoption and spread potential engagement opportunities even further.

So how can financial institutions begin the decoupling process? Start with transparency and surrender control. Credential transfer can and should be completely obvious to your consumers, so keep them in the loop. Technically, as part of online banking migration, financial institutions can replicate existing consumer credentials in a personal credentials store, supporting identity management of new customers in a centralized space. From there, banks can connect their digital channels -- both online and mobile -- to the credential store for real-time authentication during login. Also a bonus: Owning consumer credentials internally makes financial institutions less beholden to core solution providers, allowing independence both technically and strategically.

If financial institutions are looking to compete in the mobile ecosystem, the customer enrollment process must be rethought. After all, financial institutions are not just competing with each other; they’re competing with every other mobile app out there, which drives the impetus even more. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram... these big-time, first-screen apps all have mobile login capabilities, and your institution should, too. While staying loyal to online banking credentials made sense five years ago, the rules have changed, and the technical implementation of login credentials is not matching the needs of banking in business. Leverage the advantages of the mobile device, and decouple your credentials program from online banking -- and open up the potential of mobile first, or even mobile only, to your entire customer base.

Lisa Stanton is responsible for Monitise's business in the Americas, including both the group's partnership with Visa Inc. and direct sales. She is focused on progressing relationships with current and future clients as well as growing the company's ... View Full Bio

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