The Transformation of Mobile Applications for Financial Services

by Michael Levine 0

Look around and you will see digital transformation everywhere. Over the past four years, the financial services industry has seen an unprecedented pace of innovation. These advancements are playing a prominent role in everyone’s daily lives, and what was once considered customer luxury is now an expectation of service.

As seamless and secure mobile user experiences become the normative across retail and social fronts, having anything less for mobile banking and payments is unacceptable. There is a lot hanging in the balance, and all it can take to lose a customer is a handful of frustrations in using a mobile application.

For financial services looking to embrace these new user expectations and extend the same level of customer service provided onsite into the mobile realm, there are a bevy of technologies and tactics available.

Some of the largest, risk-adverse, and highly regulated financial services companies are engaging in chatbot or AI assistant proof-of-concept projects to integrate conversational interfaces into their digital strategy. For example, a leading Fortune 100 bank recently partnered with us to implement a chatbot to engage with customers in a personalized, contextual, and cost efficient way.

The best place to engage a customer is to have a presence where they tend to spend their digital lives. Currently, that place is on messaging and voice-enabled platforms. With this in mind, there is huge opportunity for creating a fully immersive customer experience by interfacing with the slew of new apps available. Regardless of whether that conversation is the continuation of a chat with a bot – on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Amazon Echo, or Google Home – having a presence on these platforms means you have direct access to your customers.

People expect convenience and context. We spend so much time in apps and online, that every end user has become an expert on what makes a great mobile experience. To keep up with these expectations, personalization and situational awareness is crucial. Immediacy is where the true value of mobile lies. It is the lynchpin of a more personal and impactful customer journey.

Finserv firms are also focusing on digital technologies to earn customer confidence through consistent experiences. If a customer experience varies from use to use, or user to user, then the trust they have in that institution will suffer.

To avoid this, many companies are focusing on Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). APIs are software-to-software interfaces that enable partners and consumers to perform business functions and to securely exchange data which is otherwise confined within a proprietary system. In simple terms, APIs are the interface that enables communication between multiple software components within, and between, organizations. APIs allow applications to build out new functionalities faster, more efficiently, and open digital ecosystems, facilitating innovation and ultimately a better customer experience. APIs also create the infrastructure needed to deliver that consistent experience users demand. They achieve this by giving users the experience to bank anywhere at any time. They establish secure universal access across many platforms and device. Keeping information moving at a real-time pace services customers in the moment with the answers they need to make educated decisions and complete the tasks at hand. The result is a competitive advantage for financial services companies in offering new capabilities and enhancements on live platforms at digital speeds.

Chatbots and APIs are two of many emerging and established technologies which Finservs can consider when modernizing their mobile app strategy. It is crucial to keep in mind what the user experience will be. The best way to engage a customer is to meet them in ways that they are most likely to interact with, while providing them with a consistent and vibrant experience.

Michael Levine, Vice President of Marketing, Photon
Based out of Photon’s Manhattan office, Michael Levine is the VP of Marketing Photon. He also is the business lead for the newly formed Products Division. Prior to Photon, Michael served as AVP of eCommerce & CRM at L’Oreal USA (a Photon customer), reporting directly to the Chief Marketing Officer. Michael spent the last 16 years leading CPG beauty companies in launching and growing their global eCommerce organizations. Companies including L’Oreal USA Brands, Baxter of California, Essie Cosmetics, dyptique Paris, SpaceNK, and DDF Skincare.

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