Why Banks Need Mobile Apps?
As a bank no matter what size, if you want to be competitive in 2023 then you will need a mobile app that is safe, user-friendly, and provides the best of services to your customers. That should not even be up for debate. In this post, we’ll lay out the steps to take to build a top-tier mobile banking application that can stand the test of time.
Consumers are now expecting more from the companies they do business with. And the bank that will rise to the top is going to be the one with an excellent mobile banking app.
The bold handwriting on the wall: banks that don’t offer an easy-to-use mobile app will fail.
Unanimously, experts agree…
Some quick facts:
- In a recent Insider Intelligence study, more than 45% of consumers rank having a mobile-first experience as the top 3 most important factors for selecting a financial institution as against 38% the previous year. FYI: The number is on a steady climb.
- As the global economy picks itself back up post-Covid-19, an overwhelming 68% of consumers expect an entirely 100% digital onboarding process (Signicat). That is to say, they do not want physical paperwork options. They don’t want to visit the bank branch. They want everything to be done electronically, especially through their smartphones.
- More people are using smartphones than computers to access the internet. In 2020, smartphone penetration reached 78.05% of total global mobile subscriptions (Statista) and is expected to reach 80.1% in countries like Australia by 2025. This bodes well for the banking industry since it has been reported by Think with Google that 6 in 10 smartphone users now use their devices to manage their financial accounts.
How will your bank fare in 2023?
The power is shifting from banks to consumers. Banks can no longer ignore this shift in power. All of this means that banks need to embrace the mobile evolution and develop a great app for their customers.
Have you then wondered how to go about building a great mobile banking application? In this guide, we’ll explore the most in-demand features of a mobile app that your customers want and all the steps you need to follow to deliver the best banking experience.
That’s what we’re going to talk about in this blog post.
Are there compelling reasons to build a mobile banking app?
You’re smart. You know there are.
Just in case you need some convincing, here are eight reasons why you should build a mobile banking app as soon as possible:
- It’s the future of banking.
- Make sure you’re available to your customers wherever, whenever they choose to bank.
- It’s a win for the customer and bank.
The sooner you have a native app, the more money you’ll make
Operating expenses (OPEX) are the biggest costs for most banks—larger than technology or marketing. A mobile banking app will help your bank reduce these costs by allowing you to automate many of the services you currently provide through call centers, websites, and branches. Plus, apps can help you reach new customers and keep your current customers loyal as well as provide avenues to make more money from them through cross-sells and up-sells.
The simple fact is that banks that don’t offer mobile apps risk falling behind their competitors. Customers (current and future) expect mobile banking apps - by simply tapping a few buttons on their phones, customers can access their accounts and take care of simple transactions like transferring money to friends or paying bills. Any bank that fails to offer this level of convenience is likely to lose customers every day.
Mobile Banking App Development Trends in 2023: What you need to know
The changes are right around the corner, and they’re going to be so drastic that it will become impossible not to notice them. Let’s take a look at some of the most important app development trends in 2023.
Artificial Intelligence: An era of smarter banking apps
Personalizing your customers’ experience can cause your revenue to jump by 15% according to investigations by McKinsey&Company. Now here is what a lot of companies don’t know: personalizing customer experience is a piece of cake if you use the power of artificial intelligence.
AI-powered chatbots, virtual assistants, and smart advisors can help you analyze your customers’ activity by collecting data from their e-mails, messages, payment history, etc.
The use of AI will change the way people view mobile banking. It is going to be all about customer service, and a lot of that will depend on the use of AI in apps.
Gamification: A tool for customer engagement
Gamification, also known as the use of game mechanics and psychology to influence people’s behaviour is another trend that’ll become popular.
Let’s say you want to encourage your customers to use mobile banking more often. Well, simply add a leaderboard or other game elements such as challenges, badges, and awards. This will make your customers more engaged with the app as well as your brand in general.
The best part is that gamification is not only beneficial for customer engagement. It also affects retention rates, and it makes your customers more likely to recommend you to their friends.
Voice Interfaces: The sound of the future
Voice assistants are here to stay. In 2023, a mobile banking app that doesn’t offer customer engagement and support via voice interfaces will seem as outdated as a website without a mobile version. =
In the US alone, it is expected that 122.7 million users will use voice assistants on their smartphones this year.
The voice assistants of the future won’t just listen to orders. They will also be able to understand context, provide smart replies and use machine learning for a better understanding of what customers are saying.
Biometric Authentication: More secure than passwords
Today, the most common way to keep your banking app safe is by using password protection. However, this method has its downsides, one of which is that people tend to use weak passwords.
Biometric authentication methods such as facial recognition and fingerprint scanning are much stronger than passwords. They are also easier to use since you don’t have to remember any complicated codes or phrases.
Mobile Wallet: Where the future is heading
Apple Wallet, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay are already here. However, these mobile wallet services are just at their infancy. In a couple of years, they will become so popular that using cash and cards will be considered archaic.
Banks are taking note of this and trying to create their mobile wallet services. In a couple of years, you’ll be able to use your smartphone as an ATM card, a credit card, and some kind of electronic wallet.
In 2023, using your smartphone as an ATM or to pay for things will be just as common as using your laptop to pay online.
5G Networks: How to make mobile banking faster
Artificial intelligence, virtual assistants, and biometric authentication are all great tools you can use to stay competitive. However, they also require more data and bandwidth.
If you want to provide your customers with the best experience possible, then you’ll need to use the upcoming fifth-generation networks.
Mobile app developers are already aware of this and are working on ways to make their apps more compatible with such networks. If you’re not, then your banking app will lag.
Bottom line: All signs point to a radically different experience that is more focused on customer service and a better customer experience.
One thing is for sure, though:
You’ll need to collaborate with a reliable mobile app development company that has the skills, experience, and tools needed to keep up with the ever-changing market.
What do Customers Expect from Mobile Banking Apps?
Security – Customers will never trust mobile banking apps if they don’t feel safe using them
Fear of fraud, data breaches, and other cybercrimes is one of the main reasons people don’t trust mobile banking apps.
As more and more financial transactions are conducted on mobile devices, security will be paramount for both users and the industry at large.
Customers want to feel confident that their financial data is kept safe and secure, no matter what platform they are using.
Simpler, faster Onboarding – Customers don’t want to spend hours filling out forms
Onboarding is a major Achilles’ heel for many mobile banking apps. In a survey involving 4000 banking customers, “63% of consumers abandoned digital bank applications in 2020 — more than ever before.”
This shows that most customers no longer have an appetite for lengthy registration processes.
Customers want to get up and running with a mobile. In 2023, users will expect mobile banking apps to be as simple and streamlined as possible from the very beginning.
Innovation – Banks need to be as innovative as possible if they want to stay relevant
Just imagine if your bank still only offered brick-and-mortar services in 2023?
Not likely. Now, more than ever before, customers are expecting their banks to keep up with the latest trends and offer innovative products and services that can help them simplify their lives and save them time and money.
Banks need to be as open-minded as possible about new technologies, such as AI and blockchain if they want to stay relevant.
First movers will have a huge advantage over competitors who are slow to adopt new technologies.
App developers like Bilue are leading the charge with solutions that are not only innovative but solve pressing problems.
Customers prefer banks that are open to collaborating with other financial institutions and technology companies.
Here is the thing: customers want to be able to complete all of their transactions in a single app, not multiple apps or separate bank accounts.
The goal is to provide a seamless experience for customers, so they don’t have to go through all of the hassles.
Banks will need to be open-minded about integrating their apps into other channels like social media, messaging apps, and retail payment solutions.
According to Invespcro’s study, businesses that adopt this strategy will be the most successful – retaining up to 89% of their customers.
Valuable Features That Customers Desire to Include in Custom Mobile App for Banks
Plural noun: “Features”
“A distinctive attribute or aspect of something.” This is according to the Oxford Dictionary. In the context of software development, “features are attributes of an application that contributes to its overall function to deliver value to the end-user and also differentiate it from other similar applications.”
When Building a Mobile Banking App these features are a must
Tracking the customers’ journey will lead us to the conclusion that when developing a mobile app, there are specific features to prioritise to capture and retain customers’ attention.
Here’s an overview:
Information Gathering – The stage a customer seeks out information regarding an app
Customers would sometimes wonder if they need an app or should they just use the mobile website?
At this stage, they will look for information to help them make a decision.
So, what features can we include that will enable customers to find information regarding the app?
A dedicated landing page about the app where customers can read more details, and FAQs and watch product videos.
Offering a demo and/or an interactive tour of the app
This is an effective feature for customers to learn more about the details and how to use the app. It also helps customers learn more about a product or service before downloading it – this way uninstall rates would decrease because customers were able to learn more about the app and what it offers.
Security badges and trust signals like “Banking Verified” or “100% Security Guarantee”, reassure customers that they’re dealing with a legit bank.
User Onboarding – Download and registration stage
At this stage, customers need to understand how they can successfully download and register on an app. They want reassurance that it’s going to be easy and quick.
Features that customers would appreciate in this stage are:
- A QR Code or an NFC tag for customers to download the app with one click.
- A sign-up wizard that would help them create their profile faster and easier.
- Predictive text entry – so customers can enter their details faster.
- A progress bar that shows a customer how far they are from fully registering and being able to use the app.
- The ability to log in with Facebook or Google accounts, so customers can set up their profile and start using the app as soon as possible.
- Customer support during the initial stages of downloading and registration to provide help along the way.
Remember, we earlier mentioned that customers would abandon an app with a lengthy onboarding process. At Bilue our experienced banking app developers can advise you on how to reduce the time needed for this process and retain more customers.
Day-to-day Banking – Users perform regular banking tasks at this point
Customers would want to perform their regular day-to-day banking activities such as checking balances, making transfers, and payments. They want a user interface that is clear and easy to use.
Some basic features users expect to see in this stage are:
A clear and simple design with an easy-to-use interface
A well-organized layer-based menu, so navigation is more straightforward for customers to find the banking activity they want quickly and easily.
Authorization and Authentication features
- A swipe to authenticate feature, so customers can quickly log in with their fingerprint. This way they don’t have to type a password every time.
- Multifactor authentication with login verification, SMS, or email codes.
- Transaction authorization through fingerprint scanning, FaceID, or PIN verification.
Account management tools
- A summary screen showing a customer’s account balances, transaction history, and other details.
- The option to add new accounts while on the go.
- The ability to manage and set permissions for different profiles such as a business profile, children’s account, etc.
- The ability to add multiple cards.
- Alerts for when a customer’s card is about to expire or if the credit limit is about to be exceeded.
- The ability to set and manage payment due dates for different cards, so customers can organize their budget easily.
Transfers and Payment features
- An option that allows customers to create and save payment details (card or bank account) for future use.
- The option to set up autoloads for customers’ cards so they don’t have to add their card details every time they want to make a payment.
- A notification when a payment is about to be processed.
- A page displaying a list of supported banks, so customers can see if their bank is compatible.
Personal Finance Management features
Even basic banking applications should offer personal finance management tools to make it easier for customers to keep track of their budgets.
- An easy way to see a customer’s spending history and analyze expenses by category, date, or payee.
- The ability to set budgets and get alerts when they’re about to be exceeded or spent on certain categories of expenses.
- A simple way to create and track spending and saving goals.
Customer Support features
Banking tasks can be complex for customers and some of them might need help.
- The ability to call a customer service number or send an email directly from the app.
- The option of a live chat with customer service reps.
- A knowledge base or other self-help tools to guide customers through the app and help them find answers quickly, without having to wait for assistance.
- A well-designed FAQ page, which would include common questions and answers based on customer feedback.
The stage in the user’s journey is where they begin to engage with a bank in other ways, like getting products and services that are not directly related to their main account.
Examples of features at this stage include:
- Investment services like stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.
- Loans like mortgages or home equity loans.
Termination of Relationship
The stage when a customer begins to disengage from their bank and close some or all of the accounts they have with them. This can be due to dissatisfaction, moving banks, or other reasons.
Features in this stage include:
- The ability to export the account data as a CSV file, so customers can take it with them and import it into another financial app.
- A page with delete account options, so customers can find them easily if they need to.
- A way to block access or remove the app from customer devices.
Advanced Features that’ll Make Your Bank’s Mobile App Pop!
In addition to basic banking tasks, modern apps have a lot more going on.
If you are looking for ways to make your mobile banking application stand out from the competition right out of the gate, you should consider adding these five sought-after features to your mobile application.
ATM and Branch Finder
This is a feature that will make your mobile banking app extremely useful to the average consumer. API technology has finally made it possible to integrate maps – Google Maps (Android & iOS apps) and Apple Maps (iOS apps) – into mobile banking apps.
With this technology, your customers can quickly find the nearest branch or ATM, and can quickly check different locations’ hours of operation.
In addition to the convenience factor, it also gives your bank an advantage over other banks that you are committed to serving your customers.
This feature is ideal for people who are not comfortable with keeping track of their savings activity daily.
It works by automatically deducting a pre-defined amount from the customer’s checking account or direct deposits and depositing it into a separate savings account based on spending patterns, balance levels, and other factors.
These “automated” transfers can either happen on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
This feature allows the customer to easily save money without having to think about it every day – which can be an ideal feature for people who are too busy to make regular savings deposits or simply want the convenience of automation.
As a bonus, this feature can be used as an incentive for the customer to sign up for direct deposits.
Cardless ATM Withdrawal
This feature will give customers the convenience of being able to make ATM withdrawals without using their debit cards.
With an increased consciousness about reducing contact in the wake of Covid-19, this feature can be a huge success.
So instead of running back home or becoming stranded with no money because your customers forgot their debit card, they can simply use their mobile banking app to withdraw cash.
There are many ways that this feature could be implemented. For example, the customer can scan a QR code at an ATM, use NFC (Near-field Communication) technology to hold their phone near or tap the ATM’s card reader, etc.
While this feature is already popular with other payment methods, it can be used to great effect with mobile pay apps.
The “cashback” feature allows the customer to get a cash rebate for making a payment with the mobile app.
This is a great feature for people who pay a lot of bills or make regular payments, as it can earn them a little extra money back.
Unlike regular notifications, which are not customizable and inflexible, this feature offers a lot more value to the customer.
Notifications can be customized based on the customer’s location, time of day, spending preferences, etc.
For example – if a person frequently shops at grocery stores on Fridays evening after work, they can opt to receive a notification with the weekly ad and relevant coupons.
This gives customers more control over their banking experience on mobile devices and keeps them engaged.
They can also be used to reward customers for loyalty – such as a bank could send coupons or ads that are exclusive to customers and increase their value.
Intelligent Chatbots and Voice Assistants
These intelligent virtual assistants using AI technology can be used to answer customers’ questions about their accounts, schedule appointments with a financial advisor, make recommendations on spending or saving, etc.
This is an especially helpful feature for people who are not comfortable talking to a person on the phone, or who are not able to use the mobile app when they’re busy or on the move.
In addition, a little bit of artificial intelligence can go a long way in keeping customers happy with the service. For example – instead of having to wait in a queue for long periods, the customer can simply ask their bot about when they’re likely to be served.
Mobile Check Deposits
A thing out of Sci-Fi movies, this feature can be used to deposit checks without having to go into a branch or mail the check.
A customer simply takes a picture of the front and back of the check, adds a few details like dollar amount and account number then submits it to be deposited.
Since depositing checks is a major pain point for most people, this is an excellent way to attract new customers and give the current ones a reason to stay.
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Capabilities
Ever been out on a date and need to split bills but don’t have cash? A common hassle your customers can relate with.
This feature will allow customers to make P-to-P payments with ease – no matter whether they are using different banks.
QR Code Payments
This technology removes the need for swiping credit cards, typing in card numbers, etc.
A QR code also has more security than a regular number – making it a safer option for customers.
Spending trackers and budget planners are features your customers would thank you for when you add them to your bank’s mobile app.
With these tools, the customer will have a better idea of where their money is going and can make informed decisions on what to cut down.
This feature will save customers the trouble of having to go through old statements to track down transactions – and will keep them from going into debt.
In addition, a savings tracker can help with goal-setting by showing customers how much they need and the time it will take to reach their goals.
This feature also helps banks understand customers’ spending habits, which can be useful in making future recommendations and improving customer experience.
Critical Steps to Successfully Build a Great Mobile Banking Application in 2023
Set a Clear Goal
Get the app right at the beginning of this process by making sure you have a clear goal of what you want this app to do.
Many companies have a few primary goals in mind when they build an application – new customer acquisition, increased customer retention, and customer service improvement – but you always need to set a goal before you start.
Define Mission-Critical Features
Armed with the knowledge of trends, and desirable features, and propelled by the drive to put your competitors to shame, it’s time to select the features that can help accomplish your primary goal
Know that the features you decide on will directly impact the cost of the app. Choosing which ones are most important will help you narrow down your options and make sure that you get exactly what is necessary to accomplish your goal.
Mapping out how the user will interact with your app is an important part of the process where we help clients determine what features are mission-critical to them. That way, you’ll never have to worry about wasting money on features that won’t give your app an added boost.
Create The Perfect App Design
Successful banking applications on phones need to be a perfect blend of beauty and simplicity, with an incredible user interface that is quick & easy.
As you move forward with your design process, keep in mind that a good design will not only go a long way toward increasing conversions, but it can also be an important factor in growing brand loyalty.
Our UI/UX designers understand that to make users fall in love with your application, they should be able to predict the user behaviour as they interact with the app in different contexts and scenarios. The design should not only look good but also feel intuitive to the user.
The following recommendations are what you should keep in mind when designing your app:
- Keep the design simple and consistent.
- Use icons to make it easier for users to navigate through the app.
- Essential elements should be within the thumb’s reach.
- Buttons, Menus, and keys should be big and easy to click.
- Make sure the colours suit your brand image and help users recognize which section they are in at a glance
- Remember to use typography and colours that make the content easy to read on a small screen.
Wireframing is the process of creating low-fidelity prototypes of your app. In other words, it is about creating a “blueprint” of the design.
It is an important step in the design process because it allows you to see flaws and issues before any time or money has been wasted on development.
We use an iterative wireframing process to enable our clients to visualize the design and make changes if needed. After we complete the wireframes, you can get them approved by key stakeholders before we proceed with the next step in development.
Prototyping is a crucial step in product design. It allows you to test your ideas and assumptions before going into full development. Here at Bilue, we create a high-fidelity finished application that looks just like what you intend to build in the final product.
The importance of prototyping is in its ability to establish a point of reference. It allows you to know what decisions need further analysis and design iteration, as well as what decisions are ready to be built. The further along the development process your product is, the more costly it will become to make changes.
Build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Unlike the prototype, an MVP focuses on the core features that will make your product successful.
An MVP may be one or two pages, but it must include everything your users need to understand how your product works and take action.
The goal here isn’t to build something that’s polished, but rather to prove whether or not the product has potential by putting it in front of customers.
As part of the process, feedback is collected and iterations are made. The result? A product that’s suitable for the market.
This step requires app developers to transform their vision into a working app. How does it work? To do this, developers write code using programming languages that specify what should happen when a user performs an action.
Depending on the app, the app development process can vary. Typically it includes writing codes, compiling, and testing. If there’s a bug in the code, it needs to be fixed before moving forward.
Because of the importance and complexity of this step, it’s important to hire a team with experience in the field.
Leveraging industry best practices our developers can help you build a robust mobile app that’s scalable and secure. Bilue relies on years of experience, utilizing the latest technologies and methodologies.
Some recommendations to consider when app building:
Native app development is your safest bet
Apps that are built for a specific platform (e.g., iOS or Android) will always be faster and more stable than cross-platform apps. The native programming languages of choice are Swift for iOS and Kotlin for Android. These are the “official” languages Google and Apple recommend for mobile app development, so they are the best supported.
Another alternative is to build a cross-platform app using React Native or other frameworks that allow you to build apps for multiple platforms using the same code base. The downside is that these apps tend to be less stable and require more maintenance compared to native apps.
Intensive App Testing is non-negotiable
Testing also known as QA (Quality Assurance) is a crucial step in the app development process.
When you test an app, it’s like an auditor checking for accounting fraud. You’re looking for any mistakes or problems that would cause an app to crash, freeze, or behave erratically.
You need to understand that testing is not just for finding bugs, but also for ensuring the app meets your company’s standards.
Our testers will test every feature as it is rolled out. They will also find vulnerabilities and make sure they are resolved before the app is released to your users.
Beta testing is also a good practice for app developers.
A beta test is when your app isn’t yet released on the market, but you have a group of testers testing it.
The goal of a beta test is to get feedback from your target audience, which you can use in the final app development process. We will make sure to find bugs and fix them before releasing the app for public use
Use APIs to give your app more power
APIs (application programming interfaces) are a set of protocols and tools that let you access features, data, or services from another service or software.
For example, Plaid is a popular API that connects to bank accounts with their permission. Using Plaid, you can give your app access to data about a user’s bank account without having to build these features on your own. Another you should know about is Zelle, which allows app users to send and receive money irrespective of their bank.
General utility APIs like Google Map and Calendar can enhance the user experience.
There are a plethora of APIs out there, so we would help you choose those that will best fit your goals.
When you use APIs, your app becomes more powerful and adaptable to users’ needs.
Enjoy more Benefits with Agile Development
Agile development is a software methodology that utilizes short sprints of work to complete an app. This method breaks down tasks into manageable parts and can adjust due dates as needed.
The benefit of Agile development is that you can respond quickly if problems come up, and you can adapt your development process.
App Release and Support
Okay, this is the stage every app owner looks forward to. An experienced app development company can help you get your app ready to navigate the review process of the app store. It is a tedious process, so having someone who knows what they are doing can help you save time and get your app out there quickly.
We can also help you with updates to your app when necessary, and provide support for any queries users may have about the same. The best part is, that you can continue to work on your business while we do all this for you.
How Much Does It Cost To Create A Mobile Banking App?
When researching the topic of creating mobile banking apps, a common question that arises is “how much does it cost to create a mobile app for a bank?”
First, there are a few things to consider when calculating the cost of developing an app.
Your requirements will play a big role in determining the overall cost of your project. That means the features you want, the platforms you plan to launch your app on, and how it will be developed all influence cost.
That said, the average cost of creating a mobile app for banks would run into millions employing services in-house. On the other hand, outsourcing to a mobile app development agency can reduce costs – with cost savings of up to 80% when compared with in-house development.
In any case, when you consider all the costs of creating a banking app from scratch in Australia, including development (350K-600K AUD), maintenance (120K AUD), hosting, and support (250K) among other things, costs can easily exceed a million Australian dollars.
Bilue Build’s Top-notch Mobile Banking Apps in Australia
If you’re ready to invest in a mobile banking app for your business, then Bilue will be glad to help you.
We do not just talk; we can deliver, starting from strategy and ending with an excellent product.
At Bilue, our specialists can engage with mobile users, deliver mobile-optimised touchpoints, and deliver the right message to the right bank account holder at the right time.
These engaging mobile experiences could be critical to increasing the adoption rate of your application.
Talk to us today for a free quote