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Mobile Banking binds Banks & Customers

Driven by the ubiquitous presence of smartphones and the ever-evolving landscape of mobile technology, the financial sector entities are undergoing a transformative revolution, as more and more customers lap up mobile banking apps. These apps are reshaping the way individuals and businesses manage their finances, offering unprecedented convenience, security, and a seamless user experience.

Mobile banking apps have witnessed a meteoric rise in recent years, with an increasing number of consumers embracing the convenience of managing their finances on-the-go.

Fintech Global’s reported on the most downloaded UK banking apps highlights the soaring popularity of mobile banking, with Monzo emerging as the most downloaded app, signalling a significant shift in consumer behavior. This trend is not limited to developed markets; even in Sri Lanka, Combank’s digital app has been adjudged the best mobile banking app.

UX & PFM Tools

The user experience (UX) offered by mobile banking apps has become a pivotal factor driving their widespread adoption. As reported by The Financial Brand, consumers are increasingly demanding advanced features, such as real-time transaction updates, intuitive navigation, and personalized financial insights. UXDA’s banking super app concept integrates AI for personalized credit scoring, biometrics for authorization, and a financial dashboard that provides users with a clear overview of their financial status.

The integration of personal finance management (PFM) tools within these apps has further amplified their appeal, empowering users to track expenses, set budgets, and gain a holistic view of their financial health. Forbes Advisor’s analysis of the best mobile banking apps sheds light on how seamless integration with personal finance management tools is becoming a key differentiator for app providers, catering to the evolving needs of modern consumers.

Security Features, Outages

While the convenience of mobile banking apps is undeniable, ensuring robust security features is paramount. Recent incidents, such as Bank of Baroda’s unauthorized linking of mobile numbers and mobile banking outages for HSBC customers in Britain and HDFC Bank customers in India, underscore the critical importance of maintaining airtight security protocols and high uptime.

Rob Morgan, senior vice president of emerging technologies at the American Bankers Association, sees a lot more banks offer that functionality that gives consumers proactive control over where their data is going. “It’s not just the added security but it’s also the importance of transparency so you see where your data is going, how it is being used and controlled, the ability to turn off this thing when you are no longer using the service,” he said.

Survey Findings

The Government of India’s demonetization initiative in 2016 acted as a catalyst for the rapid adoption of online and mobile banking in India. This surge has positioned India as a frontrunner in digital finance within the Asia Pacific region. Surveys conducted by Statista Research Department in 2020 showed that mobile banking penetration was on the rise, with 31% of households reporting having mobile banking apps. Furthermore, digital payments were becoming increasingly popular in everyday life, with 32% of households already using them regularly.

India’s mobile banking adoption is surging, solidifying its position as a leader in the Asia Pacific region. Forrester’s Consumer Asia Pacific Survey, conducted in 2023, revealed a remarkable statistic: a staggering 87% of online Indian adults expressed a preference for conducting all their banking activities through a smartphone. This figure represents the highest percentage among all countries surveyed within the Asia Pacific region.

Coop Banks in India

Mobile banking is moving down to the smallest banks in India – the cooperative banks – that are adopting mobile banking in a big way, even the ones in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. We look at the advancements and strategies of two cooperative banks, Mumbai based Bharat Cooperative Bank and Calicut City Service Cooperative Bank, as they navigate the dynamic realm of mobile banking.

Bharat Cooperative Bank’s Nexa app stands out as a beacon of innovation, with continuous evolution marking its journey since its launch on December 30th, 2017. The app’s prowess lies in its meticulous attention to user needs, evident in the comprehensive breakdown of balance components. Users gain insights into various facets of their accounts, offering a deeper understanding of their financial status.

Moreover, Nexa empowers users with control and security through the ability to freeze and deregister their accounts directly from the app. The ‘Switch Profile’ option enhances flexibility for those with diverse banking needs, boosting user convenience. Real-time opening of recurring deposits and fixed deposits accounts is a significant stride towards efficiency, simplifying investment decisions. Security measures, including SIM and device binding fortify the app against potential threats, ensuring a secure banking environment. The success of Nexa, particularly in attracting a diverse customer base, underscores its effectiveness in meeting customer needs.

M. Score Unlocks Doors

Calicut City Service Cooperative Bank entered the mobile banking arena with the M. Score app on November 26, 2016. The app, designed to be user-friendly, serves as a vital link between the bank and its customers, offering a range of services with convenience in mind. While specific improvements over the past 12 months are not explicitly outlined, the bank’s dedication to refining the app signals a commitment to staying abreast of digital banking trends. M. Score

shines in its popularity for passbook-related queries and NEFT/RTGS fund transfers, demonstrating its significance in both information retrieval and financial transactions.

Dueling Approaches

Bharat Cooperative Bank’s Nexa app stands out with its detailed display of balance components, account freezing, and real-time deposit opening, empowering users with comprehensive control over their accounts. On the other hand, Calicut City Service Cooperative Bank’s M. Score app focuses on features like effortless fund transfers, convenient bill payments, and strategic customer attraction initiatives, catering to a broader audience with its inclusive offerings.

Bharat Cooperative bank’s technology partners, Techurate Systems and Modus Systems, and certifications from Indusface and Audix contribute to the app’s robustness. On the other hand, Perfect Software Solutions supports Calicut Bank, ensuring a secure platform for financial transactions with MB Server certification.

Both banks employ distinct customer attraction strategies. Bharat Cooperative Bank prioritizes security with its emphasis on SIM and device binding, along with strict device compatibility measures, setting a robust standard for its mobile app. In contrast, Calicut Bank’s focus on strategic customer meets and social media campaigns demonstrates a proactive approach to customer engagement.

In the ever-evolving landscape of mobile banking, these two cooperative banks showcase unique paths to success, emphasizing innovation, customer-centricity, and adaptability. Their journeys stand as a testament to the diverse approaches taken by financial institutions to empower customers in the digital age.

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