“US banks increasingly see mobile banking as a channel with its own entity and not as an extension of their online offer”, according to Latinia

“Undoubtedly American financial institutions, which historically envisioned the mobile channel as an extension of its internet banking, have left behind that focus, in part thanks to the growth experimented by SMS banking services, far away from the influential world of navigation and closer to other types of communication needs, based more on a bank-client flow and other service profiles”, says Ros, marketing manager at Latinia, after the study done by the company regarding the state of mobile banking in the United States.

“Suddenly, and due to the emergence of messaging as an autonomous technology within the mobility offer provided by financial institutions, they have discovered that this phenomenon has something else implicit, and that is that part of the mobile channel users, contrary to how it was originally conceived, do not necessarily have to be internet banking users. This is really good news for the financial institution, as it means that the mobile banking via SMS client probably comes from operating with the FI through other more costly channels, therefore causing the much-desired cost reduction per contact point”, continued Ros. This is so because in SMS banking services the demographic segmentation logic does not apply. In strictly one on one communications terms, the youngest target market is the most important segment, but in the business-client setting the segmentation is openly conduct-based or psychographic”, and thus the extended consumption to all age segments, indicated Latinia’s marketing manager.

“This notion has been especially evident with the recent SMS banking boom given that, and as a result of introducing the iPhone, the applications and the features it provides in the navigation format, the link with the web was too close and overwhelming, preventing us from seeing that other technologies such as messaging were growing quickly”.

The majority of companies developed the mobile channel from its own online channel, as an extension, as one more feature of the internet banking services, thinking that they were basically covering the same type of need, based mainly on the online dialogue with the entity. This was due to the important presence of terminals focused on navigation, the existence of “all-you-can-eat” data rates, which are now reaching messaging and the strong trace of navigation culture present in the United States. But it has been the blossoming of SMS which has made them reflect upon the different needs that under one model or other, navigation or messaging, the mobile channel covers”.

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