BAI Retail Delivery 2010 Roundup (Part 2)
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Celent have reviewed this profile and believe it to be accurate.
25 October 2010
While most of the banking world (including key members of the Celent team) has seemingly moved on to Amsterdam for SIBOS, I thought I'd append a few more thoughts to Jacob's post about last week's BAI Retail Delivery conference. Both Jacob & I were faced with variations of the "whither on-line vs. mobile?" question numerous times during the conference. This reflects the fact that as Jacob put it in his post, "mobile is a raging topic" and that some people are beginning to think that mobile could replace the on-line channel. However, I'm afraid that aren't that simple. As many of this blog's readers will certainly agree, our view is that both on-line and mobile will require ongoing attention in the banking space. And to make matters a wee bit more complicated, it's now time to start thinking about tablets. The need for continued focus on both on-line and mobile banking products stems from their form factor strengths & weaknesses when applied to differing intersections of use cases and demographics. For example, mobile banking is great for on-the-run balance inquiries, but one would struggle with its small screen and keyboard for PFM. On-line banking is fantastic for investment research & trading, but its tethered, non-push technology makes it useless for real-time alerting. Younger customers with a narrower set of banking needs expect mobile banking, but older customers using relatively complicated banking products are going to demand on-line banking. Whereas tablets can bridge form factor strengths (i.e., they offer the best of both on-line and mobile interfaces), the roughly $500 price point makes it a luxury for most customers. Put another way, on-line, mobile and tablet banking developers will be employed for years to come. I did not attend any of this year's BAI sessions, but mobile-related observations based on countless bank/vendor meetings included the following:
- Mobile RDC. This is quickly becoming the "must have" mobile feature that vendors mentioned they are increasingly supporting. Although customer adoption is a big unknown (USAA's numbers are meaningless to most banks), banks are adding mRDC to their mobile banking checklist when evaluating vendors.
- P2P. Unlike last year when mobile P2P was the BAI "belle of the ball", this year's conference seemed devoid of P2P discussion. Sure, a number of vendors are ratcheting up their support of it, but the breathless descriptions about the potential for this feature have subdued considerably.
- Marketing & cross-sell. More than ever before at BAI, there was an increased focus on tapping into the mobile channel's marketing possibilities -- this included video chats with bank representatives, the inevitable leveraging of contextual marketing (based on time & place) by couponing players such as BillShrink and Cardlytics, and the use of bold tablet banner ads. Another interesting tablet use case was the selling and pre-processing of deposit and loan products to customers waiting in bank branch lines.