A Big Bank’s Take on Mobile

CitibCitibank's Mobile App Strategyank started offering text-message banking services in 2006 and quickly transitioned to a mobile website and app a year later. It now offers mobile apps for multiple operating systems that cover smartphones and tablets. With such a long standing dedication to mobile, Citi has gained some insight into how people feel about mobile banking (and mobile finance apps in general). Digiday recently spoke to Tracey Weber, Head of Internet and Mobile at Citi, about some of the challenges the bank faces when it comes to mobile – some of them might surprise you.

What’s the biggest challenge?
Consumer expectations. People are using retail apps and social networking apps that have a superb user experience, and that puts pressure on us. It sets a high bar in terms of the experience we have to provide. We spend a lot of time on that. And expectations are constantly changing and evolving. Capabilities are important as well, for customer-retention purposes. But most of all, customers want the mobile experience to be clear, fast and easy, and that’s a challenge.

Are people are ready to trust mobile with their financial information?
They are. We certainly saw with the Internet that it takes time for some people to get started with digital forms of banking. But because of the Internet, people aren’t as uneasy about mobile as we saw with the Internet. Yes, security is still a concern for some people. And it’s not just about the application or site being hacked. It’s the fact that you’re in public doing stuff, liking standing in line, and you don’t want people seeing you’re financial information. The key is providing capabilities that are really convenient. That usually gets people over the security hurdle.

How do you think about mobile relative to other digital channels?
We have been really thoughtful about evolving how people use different digital devices. Mobile is very on the go, and so we have quick access to tools that a person on the go would need. Tablets, on the other hand, are very lean back, so we provide more capabilities in our tablet apps. On the Web, we provide all of the capabilities. It’s important to keep in mind the different mindsets of consumers based on the device they are using. We are not trying to give mobile users every single capability.

Read the full interview at Digiday >>>

Unfortunately, Citi’s app users seem to think the bank needs to step up its game – both the iOS and Android versions have low Applause Scores.

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