Mobile banking makes progress but requires new formats for continued growth

Bogotá, July 14th, 2015. According to the 7th edition of the study ‘Latinia Intelligentia’, an annual report conducted by the Catalan software company LATINIA, mobile banking services in Latin America need to move on and adopt a new approach in order to continue evolving. Today, mobile banking services only grow through imitation between different financial institutions. Although it is true that in the last five years Latin American banks have doubled their offer for mobile financial services, rising from 1.4 to 2.72 per institution, the number of ‘mobilized’ banks has reached a technological ceiling. The study, with equal representation of all countries in the region according to population and economy, was performed among 100 banks within the 250 top performers in the region, and only covering commercial banking.

“New channels, mainly social networks, in addition to new technologies and devices, such as smartwatches, will lead towards a new dimension, in which banking, more than being mobile, or mobilized, will be contextual,” states Oriol Ros, Marketing manager at Latinia. Ros also points out, “these new channels should allow banks to offer the most convenient services possible and content which, properly contextualized within time, space, or the preferences and history of the client, will create those long sought positive service experiences. Exactly what banking needs at this moment, that is new platforms with which the bank can re-establish its relationship with its clients… and differentiate itself from its competition.”

With respect to the specific details of the study, two technological categories are growing at different rates. SMS Banking and Banking Apps are clearly leading mobile initiatives amongst banks, but they are growing at only a third of the rate of Apps for tablets and the mobile web, both of which show annual growth percentages above 30%. Ros indicates, “having seen the proliferation of services, when it comes to Apps, an important reflection that financial institutions should make in the near future is if they should follow an umbrella model; in other words, one App multiplexed in N services, or apply an App to each service, thereby migrating towards the App Store model.”

Another interesting perspective is the time that banks have taken to double their mobile financial services offer. SMS Banking has taken 6 years, while mobile web did it in 5, smartphone Apps have done it in 3, and Apps for tablets in 2. The significant presence of push notifications is also worth highlighting, as direct beneficiaries of App leadership, and future beneficiaries of the emergence of new devices such as the previously mentioned smartwatches, clearly developed for this objective.

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