Mobile Banking 2015
Many large, established banks are now prioritising mobile services, investing heavily in capability and architecture as they adopt a "mobile first" strategy. In addition to investing in their own IT, these banks are acquiring tech start-ups and investing in incubators for small tech companies. They are also working with professional services firms who are developing their support for mobile banking through investment and acquisition.

Over the next five to 10 years, mobile banking will see dramatic growth and this exponential increase will also be seen across Southeast Asia. ASEAN and the larger Asia Pacific region are likely to emerge as hotbeds of intense competition in this space. The explosive growth of smartphones, together with increased comfort levels to use mobile commerce and improved regional connectivity, are setting the scene for major disruptions amongst the established ASEAN players in the banking sector.

Findings from the UBS Evidence Lab revealed that while a bank's mobile banking service is a key attraction for a growing number of customers, those that value it are also more likely to change bank, perhaps because these early adopters are more open to change and innovation as well as frequently being more economically active. This adds to the pressure on banks to improve their offering in order to retain customers.

The report suggests that mobile banking and payment systems are increasingly being integrated with other technologies, driving an era of 'Open Banking' where financial services is just one layer in a multiplicity of various experiences. The report highlights three areas banks should pay attention to so that they can take advantage of the surge in mobile banking and prepare for the 'Open Banking' era:

  • Expand mobile banking services
    Banks should investigate the potential of value-added services. For example, consumers value personalised support via mobile services and banks should explore areas such as virtual support, social media banking and cloud storage.

    In addition, banks can consider mobile-enabled technologies such as wearables and augmented reality as they proliferate.

  • Banks need to be more open
    While banks offer Application Programme Interfaces (APIs), allowing third-party developers to develop such technology, the report highlights there needs to be greater collaboration between the banks and developers.

    Furthermore, even as banks invest unprecedented amounts in mobile and other technology-led capabilities, challengers unencumbered by legacy IT infrastructure are already one step ahead. To stay ahead, large banks are increasingly acquiring technology start-ups and investing in incubators.

  • Invest in security
    Innovation must be underpinned by rock-solid security. Banks are urged to heavily invest in technologies that will evolve and protect against future threats, as well as tackle current pressures from malware and social engineering.
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