Mobile banking apps appeal to US consumer demand for a streamlined lifestyle

June 2, 2014
4 min read

One of Mintel’s consumer trends identified for 2014 is “Life, Streamlined”, which details customers’ desire for instant gratification, a need which will only intensify over time. People are demanding faster solutions to their problems, which means more advanced technological solutions. Acclimation to each technology advance leads, in turn, to people wanting even faster solutions, creating a perpetual cycle. Those solutions will work to help streamline life for consumers. Ultimately the advancements will anticipate customer’s needs and, in some cases, cut down on the need for people to find products, information, and services. Marketers appeal to the desire to streamline by promoting tools and services that work to simplify customers’ lives by providing convenience, or by offering relevant rewards and savings.

Much of the marketing for banking mobile apps focuses on remote deposit, because it’s something that can’t be done, for the most part, through the computer, so it’s an added value to the customer. The ads are short and to the point, and these types of messages speak to the idea of a more streamlined life through the copy and in the execution of the ad. Banks also use a more sophisticated approach to promote mobile deposit, as illustrated in other mobile spots. One mobile ad from Wells Fargo features a young woman coming home with her first paycheck. Her mother congratulates her, but reminds her that her studies come first. The family celebrates the milestone with her and then she deposits the check using mobile deposit. The ad focuses on “getting banking done” so customers can focus on the more important things in life,–in this case, education and family. Interestingly, banks have been running the same mobile spots in both television and mobile, suggesting that mobile has mass appeal, and combines the branding opportunity that TV has with the direct response ability.

USAA has been a pioneer in the industry, being one of the first banks to offer mobile remote deposit. The bank is currently working on voice commands to allow customers to more easily conduct transactions through the mobile app. A simple voice command has the ability to significantly streamline the transactional process, over the current process of multiple taps and swipes it takes to conduct most actions through banking apps. USAA is already using voice within its insurance apps, which allows customers to simulate an accident, describe it in their own voice, and take pictures of the damage, all via the app.

Mobile banking apps also have the potential to push out relevant offers to customers, allowing products and offers to find the shopper, rather than the other way around. In banking, this idea manifests itself through the statement reward programs offered by several banks. The key with these is that the customer must be enrolled in online or mobile banking to get the rewards, and the rewards are pushed to the customer either through device, or email. The offers are based on the customer’s past shopping behavior, and are highly relevant to the customer’s needs and wants. These types of programs are the earliest iteration of the product finding the customer. Ultimately, advancements will cut down on the need for people to find products, information and services. Instead, the roles will be reversed and the products, information, and services will find the people – allowing them to more quickly move on.

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Susan Wolfe is the VP of Financial Services at Mintel Comperemedia, focusing on the banking and investment industries.  Susan brings over 20 years of experience in marketing and research to her role at Mintel.

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