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Banks riding high on mobile boom but consumers wary: BuzzCity

Ongoing global research from BuzzCity reveals that mobile banking continues to increase, but a skewed approach to communications means banking customers are confused as to the range of features and services available to them. And although nearly all banks now offer mobile banking services, marketing efforts to communicate to their customers remain traditional, with TV cited as the most used medium for promotions has only garnered 35 per cent votes.

The correlation between customers failing to grasp online banking juxtaposes with increased emphasis on TV campaigns. Only 20 per cent of marketing spend was placed on mobile advertising, an increase of 3 per cent from 2013 and less is spent on radio and newspaper – 7 per cent and 11 per cent respectively. Banks are failing to communicate on the very devices they are offering their services on.

Mobile banking boom and progression, but still work to do
More than a third of Malaysian mobile users now use their mobile for financial transactions; a growth of 70 per cent from 2013 (21 per cent) to 2015 (36 per cent). If uptake remains at the current rate, it is expected that all mobile users will bank online within the next couple of years. Although nearly all banks provide some form of mobile banking service – still over one in five i.e. 19 per cent don’t believe that facilities are available to them, 45 per cent have yet to use their mobiles for banking services with a quarter ‘planning to do so’.

Education & Awareness
The challenge of the evolving technology will remain and most banks in Malaysia now offer services via apps and mobile sites. It is predicted that banks will continue to develop more possibilities in terms of services and evolve their offerings as the functionality of smartphones increase.

Despite the advancements in mobile banking, one in five users i.e. 18 per cent continue to have concerns about security – although security concerns have decreased by 39 per cent from 2013, signalling a major shift change. One in four or 24 per cent people also believe that their mobile device is not suitable for online banking. With most phones now capable of mobile banking, banks need to better educate their customers on how they can use their online services and in safety, as more services will be developed as the functionality of smartphones increase. More services will always mean new fears – so education will be an ongoing process, across all touch points.

Where are the banks failing?
“This skewed approach that many banks place on TV advertising is failing to engage their own customers. By focusing all efforts on just one channel of communication and not the actual devices that their customers are using every minute of every day the banks are clearly missing opportunities. This is integral to building relationships and trust with their audiences,” said Dr. KF Lai, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at BuzzCity.

The ongoing task of education and awareness is key for banks to target their customers, with the ongoing security fears, lack of knowledge about the services available to them and lack of understanding to their service requirements are surprisingly prevalent. Acknowledging and acting quickly on this will benefit banks as this boom is certainly set to continue.

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