More than any other issue or influence, mobile technology will have the greatest global impact on the industry in the next five years. This is the finding of the ATM Future Trends 2012 study. In the U.S., 60 percent of study participants said it would be the most important industry trend.
Mobile, especially the smartphone, has a singular ability to blur the boundaries of financial channels. Using the mobile web and apps, a customer can take care of business online and at the ATM.
Today a mobile phone user can set up a funds transfer to be completed at an ATM thousands of miles away. Or a cash withdrawal to be carried out at the drive-thru down the street.
A few years from now, will bank customers use their NFC-enabled mobile wallets to initiate a contactless ATM transaction? Could the touchscreen on an NFC-enabled mobile someday make the ATM display redundant? If so, might it eventually even serve as a video teller interface?
Who can say? What we know for certain is that mobile technology is a fast-moving phenomenon. And one company — Personetics — has developed a mobile banking app that's a phenomenon within a phenomenon. Enough so that Digital Banker won the 2012 Mobile Solution Provider of the Year Award at the 6th Annual Mobile Banking & Commerce Summit last June in San Francisco.
"Studies have shown that customers typically use two to three channels when conducting business with their banks, so they expect a seamless experience across those channels," said Deborah Katz of White Plains, N.Y.-based Personetics Technologies.
"With Digital Banker, a customer can start a conversation in one channel and pick it up in another without missing a beat."
That could be a conversation, literally. Digital Banker features Siri-style voice navigation that asks questions and takes commands. The app also offers tap and text functionality. A slide show demonstrates two of the app's capabilities — bill pay and transaction inquiry. Video demos of these features can be viewed at the Personetics website.
Katz said that Personetics Digital Banker can benefit a bank in three ways:
- It can save money by deflecting helpline calls;
- It can improve the customer experience across all service channels;
- It can help a bank increase share of wallet with existing customers.
"We let banks move beyond the old-fashioned ways of doing customer service and enable them to cater to the demands of the ever-changing consumer," Katz said.
Personetics offers both a hosted and an on-premises solution, allowing banks to choose their preferred method of installation. Real-time architecture allows banks to leverage existing data sources and expedite the integration process.
A typical deployment takes three to four months. Katz said the company had made a quick launch of the solution by doing the "heavy lifting" in advance, pre-packaging most of the business logic and complex models. "Banks don’t have to dedicate 1000s of developer hours creating all of the possible scenarios — we’ve already done that," she said. "They just plug it in, and it works."
For more on this topic, visit the mobile banking research center.
Suzanne’s editorial career has spanned three decades and encompassed all B2B and B2C communications formats. Her award-winning work has appeared in trade and consumer media in the United States and internationally.