How mobile apps play an important role in financial services

By Piyush Jain

The financial sector has always been at the forefront of adopting new technologies from telephones to computers and smartphones. The financial industry has been quick to adopt smartphones as a way to deliver financial services to its customers. Mobile banking users have been increasing rapidly in the last few years.

According to research, more than 70 per cent of smartphone users have at least one financial app installed on their phone. Banking apps are the most used apps, around 55 per cent of the users have banking apps for day to day banking. Whereas 40 per cent are using peer-to-peer payment apps, 20 per cent are using investing and budgeting apps. Following are the main reasons why financial apps are highly adaptable:

  1. Mobile deposit

With a mobile deposit, a customer can deposit a cheque into their account using their phone or tablet’s camera. You don’t have to go to the bank to deposit the checks; it saves you a lot of time. You can deposit the check anytime. Mobile deposits have also reduced the chance of human errors of writing the wrong check amount while depositing the checks. These banking apps scan the magnetic chips on your checks and read the number correctly. It is a secure way of depositing your checks because the photos you take of them are not stored on your phone. The amount of the check can be seen quickly in your account faster than if you approach your branch location for depositing the check. Data shows 12 million people in the USA deposited checks worth $40B last year.

  1. Faster stock Investment

Mobile apps for trading are highly efficient since you can manage the portfolio at any time with ease of finger tips. The investment apps also help users multiple ways like to get market overview, top gainers and losers, latest news of markets, stock charts, option chain data. The mobile apps have simplified the purchase and sales of stock at the very best time. You can also set alerts for the stock prices if stock is trading above or below your desired price.

These apps also allow you to invest in FPOs, IPOs. Mobile trading applications also have the notification and alerts facility that works independently from the SMS alerts sent by the exchanges, brokerages, and custodians. It is so valuable in certain market conditions, the mobile app helps a lot in making the decision at the right time. The traders also get investment advice from their brokers. The transactions and fund details of the users are secured with an encrypted firewall.

  1. Easy pay at the business location

NFC (near field communication) and QR codes have become the front part of the mobile device industry. They are convenient and fast ways of making payment at the business location as money is transferred quickly by scanning QR code and wireless connectivity like geolocation or Bluetooth. The mode of payment is versatile and can be used for mobile banking, reserving restaurant seats, movie passes, booking tickets, getting real-time updates on expenditure, collecting and redeeming reward points, coupons, etc. The NFC technology-integrated mobile apps are more secured. In case if your smartphone is lost, the user’s credit card information and money are protected with a two-way authentication method. 

  1. Customer retention with push notification 

Push notifications are the messages that pop up on your smartphone after you’ve downloaded an app, even if the app is closed.  They also offer multiple benefits to financial institutions as well as their customers. Financial institutions can attract users by sending them real-time updates and reminders. Through push notification, they have a better opportunity to communicate with customers. Timely marketing messages are the best way to increase conversion rates because they can notify customers or create a sense of urgency.

Using push notification, the financial institutions have increased their retargeting click-through rate by two to three times compared to classic mobile ads. The cost to the financial institution is also less as compared to sending a text or an email.  On the other hand, if we talk about benefits to users, they get details about their withdrawal and deposit notification, success or failure of transactions, special offers, and discounts. They also get information about increased credit limits or interest rate information.

  1. ATM tracking

The mobile banking apps are enabled with the features to track the nearest ATM. This feature is introduced by a few banks to help their customers to withdraw cash at the time of emergency. The transaction through an ATM gets quickly updated in your mobile apps at a particular moment. They have enhanced the customer experience, as the latest transaction details are sent to the customers via context-based notifications. These banking apps have geolocation services that help users in finding ATMs nearest to their location.  

  1. Increased security

The technology revolution has increased the cyber threats related to the security of users’ accounts, hacking, and fraud. The financial institutions have to focus more on securing the sensitive data of users. Mobile apps have come up with advanced features like fingerprint scanning, face recognition, and voice security. When you create an account on financial apps, you have to sign up using your registered number. When you make any payment, an OTP (one-time password) has been sent through SMS to your registered mobile number. After the integration of artificial intelligence in mobile apps, frauds can be detected easily. AI (artificial intelligence) helps identify patterns related to any suspicious activities in real-time and forecasting future possibilities of happening. 

  1. Reduced operational costs 

The purpose of financial apps is to help users by satisfying their demands. They are beneficial to financial institutions by allowing them to go paperless and save money on printing and delivery. They do not have to open new branches if more customers carry out banking via their mobile phones. Mobile apps help to reduce expenses for branch operations, maintenance and offer transactions 10 times cheaper than ATM transactions.

Conclusion

Digital technology is rapidly emerging, and the finance industry is also adopting the latest technologies. Financial institutions have introduced financial apps for their customers that are beneficial to both the users as well as the financial institutions. The financial apps have features like mobile deposits, ATM tracking, improved security, easy pay at a business location, and many others. These features allow customers to access banking services at a single click on smartphones. On the other hand, mobile apps also provide the opportunity for customer retention and adding new ones.

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