Selling Corporate Clients on Mobile

by Steve Murphy 0

 A solution waiting for a problem, or in the case of commercial organizations use of mobile, perhaps ‘if you build it he will come’? This particular piece is around the adoption experience (or lack thereof) for mobile solutions in the general periphery of direct payments. So, for example, a treasury manager using a mobile device and/or app to approve large value payments through an online banking or TMS solution. Or using the smartphone camera with an expense management app to automatically document and submit reimbursement data in conjunction with a commercial card. The underlying conclusion is that capabilities exist but demand lags.

It’s an interesting paradox. When roaming around the annual AFP conference last October, the ‘eyeball test’ would seem to confirm the demise in laptop usage while transacting out of the office. This is in contrast to just a couple of years back when laps were much more full of tops at conferences. About 90+% of these senior finance professionals, who are generally busy folks, were using mobile devices to do what they needed to do. Mercator recently published a piece on commercial mobile usage in which we defined the channels as Mobile Banking (as indicated here), Digital Commerce (not covered in the above article) and Point-of-Sale, which is touched upon. We tend to think that they are all fairly imminent, and just a matter of where the tipping point comes for each channel.

So in the case of mobile banking, finance professionals do have strong options, some of which have been around for awhile. In the case of POS, it is just starting to happen.

Wells Fargo, for example, last week announced that receipt imaging would be available for its commercial card customers who use the bank’s Commercial Card Expense Reporting product, a service that allows them to upload and manage receipts directly on their mobile devices. The new imaging capability enables customers to snap a photo of a receipt with their mobile phone and allocate each individual expense to a particular transaction. This is designed to make the process of reconciling, reimbursing, and billing for expenses quicker and easier, said Mary Mazzochi, senior vice president, commercial card product management at Wells Fargo….Another bank looking to improve the mobile experience for its commercial clients is U.S. Bank. In March it added Android, Samsung and Apple Pay options for some of its corporate customers. It has done a limited rollout so far and plans a full launch for all its corporate customers later this year.

We happen to believe that the POS environment for commercial, which is almost non-existent, will reach a tipping point will be in the 2019-2020 timeframe, for a number of reasons. The other channels are already being used relatively frequently in comparison, and natural workplace demographic change is pushing that usage pattern.
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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