Let’s Talk About Mobile Banking

It’s a well known fact that mobile banking is exploding. According to Citibank's 2018 Mobile Banking Study, almost half of consumers (46%) increased their mobile banking in the past year, including 62% of millennials. In Trinidad and Tobago, our robust telecommunications landscape makes mobile banking an easy choice for most. Our country has more cell phones than people, with 1.87 million mobile connections in 2018. 64% of those mobile connections are also mobile internet users, while internet penetration has reached 73% of our population.

These trends have revolutionised everything from to social interaction, to consumer spending patterns, to of course, banking. Mobile technology has created huge opportunities for banks to bring added ease, efficiency, security and convenience to our customers. We love it and they do too. As new tools and capabilities emerge, mobile banking continues to redefine what it means to provide exceptional service. I’d be happy to share each and every perk of mobile banking in this blog but the list is pretty long (and that’s a good thing!). So here are a few of our top picks:

  1. Convenience for customers

    Mobile banks never close – customers can check their balance, pay bills or transfer money at any time. Apart from those core services, mobile banking also offers expanded features like digitally enabled ATM withdrawals. For example our Cardless Cash service allows customers to use the RepublicMobile app to send up to $500 in cash to themselves or to anyone else which can then be withdrawn from any Republic Bank ATM without the use of a card. Not only does this save time at the ATM but it means you don’t have to worry about forgetting your wallet at home.

  2. Increased security

    According to Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report, 76% of data breaches were financially motivated. Mobile banking features like multi-factor authentication (MFA) increase security by asking users to provide two or more credentials to access their accounts. Per Xpress Money, MFA ‘relies on three types of information: something you know, such as a password; something you have, such as a security token; and something you are, such as biometric identification.’ Biometrics are quickly becoming a mainstream authentication solution as they harder to hack than passwords and users are becoming more open to using biometrics to make their accounts safer.

  3. Specialised apps

    Some banks are also exploring the use of stand-alone apps that offer specialised services to users. For example, the Simple app offers money management features such as budget calculation and the ability to create digital envelopes specifically designed for saving; users can instruct the app to place pre-determined amounts of money in the envelopes each day in order to meet their saving goals.

  4. Better customer support

    The rise of machine learning has allowed mobile banking to offer improved services to customers. Many modern consumers are foregoing call-centres, opting instead for the instant help of chat bots or virtual banking assistants. AI-based chat bots have evolved to do more than follow simple commands, they now use machine learning to understand how clients bank online so that they can tailor their functions to each individual. Some banks have also developed the equivalent of Siri or Alexa for banking, for example, Erica at Bank of America or Amy at HSBC Hong Kong. These assistants are increasingly able to perform more complex transactions, sometimes by using biometric data for authentication.

As technology continues to change the way we live and bank, mobile banking will continue to offer new tools to our customers. We have already begun to explore the possibilities of mobile banking and we’re excited about the ample opportunities that exist for growth.

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