Asia/Pacific Banks are Fighting Hard to Gain Mindshare in Mobile Banking, says IDC Financial Insights
08 Aug 2012
Singapore and Hong Kong – August 8, 2012 – Banks in Asia/Pacific are ramping up their mobile banking propositions as they race for mindshare among the region's increasingly technologically savvy customers. The mobile channel is the top priority channel for most banks in 2012, and leading banks in Asia/Pacific have deployed their best resources to this "channel of the future", launching standout features and functionalities, ensuring growth in activity rates among customers, and better managing the technology requirements of this channel.
More insights are revealed in a recently published IDC Financial Insights report, "Business Strategy: Have Leading Asia/Pacific Banks Raised the Standards for Mobile?" (Doc # FIN 236185, July 2012), which examines the leading mobile financial services offerings in the region, as well as the best practices set by these mobile banking leaders.
Michael Araneta, Associate Consulting and Research Director for IDC Financial Insights Asia/Pacific states, "The initial focus for leading banks was to offer baseline functionalities for mobile banking that are similar to those found in PC-based online banking: transaction history, payment origination, and funds transfers. However, some banks have succeeded in launching standout features that leverages new mobile form factors, which fit very well into the increasingly mobile lifestyles of Asia/Pacific customers."
Araneta continues, "Underneath all the hype that surrounds the phenomenon of mobility is the shift in the notion of what is a banking channel. Prior to the emergence of the mobile channel as the major mode of engagement, a channel was effectively owned, managed, designed, and controlled by the bank. The bank itself ensured that channels worked in alignment with its own conditions, including processes, workflows, and channel strategies. Today, the power has shifted to the customer who now owns, manages, and controls the device at hand. This means that banks' mobile strategies need to keep in mind customers and customer preferences more than ever."
This IDC Financial Insights report also highlights the technology considerations crucial for banks as they launch their mobile banking offerings. Firstly, there still appears to be no industry convergence on a single model or platform for mobile banking. Consequently, banks are leaving the mobile Web versus native app debate unresolved, and are instead striving to offer both. Secondly, many vendors crowd the mobile space, which suggests that the market will consolidate soon. IDC Financial Insights suggest that banks follow the lead of their main core provider or look for a vendor that supports multiple channels, not just mobile.
Araneta adds, "There are two areas that banks are pressured to respond to, especially if they want to be seen as a market leader in mobile: nearfield communications (NFCs) and mobile wallets. However, in most markets, NFC is slow to reach critical mass and may never reach such market prevalence. If the NFC models being proposed are not transparent and clearly beneficial for the bank, then the bank may find it better to pursue alternative models of next-generation payment technologies." On the other hand, the emergence of mobile wallet alternatives may require banks to have a well thought-out strategy, especially if these mobile wallets present compelling offers and reward programs for consumers moving forward.
Araneta concludes, "Mobile wallets present a new layer of intermediation that banks need to work through. Rather than focus on launching their own mobile wallets, banks should aim to work well with various existing mobile wallets, so that they can influence their customers through them."
For more information about this report, "Business Strategy: Have Leading Asia/Pacific Banks Raised the Standards for Mobile?" (Doc # FIN 236185, July 2012), please contact Sheryl Fuertez at +65-6829-7758 or sfuertez @idc.com. To set up an interview with Michael Araneta, contact Lay Fang Tan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About IDC Financial Insights
IDC Financial Insights assists financial service businesses and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers who serve them, in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing the banking, insurance, and securities and investments industries. International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology, media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit www.idc-fi.com, email email@example.com, or call 508-620-5533. Visit the IDC Financial Insights Community at http://idc-insights-community.com/financial.
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For more than 47 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com.
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Lay Fang Tan