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Hana Bank sets the standard for smartphone banking: Celent

While the nascent field of mobile banking has many issues that will need to be resolved moving into the future, Hana Bank’s approach in launching its smartphone banking service is instructive, according to a report by Celent.

Financial services available on smartphones are increasingly being thrust into the limelight. Hana Bank’s experience has highlighted the need for effective marketing above and beyond innovative services and functions to ensure success.

“Smartphones have been on the market for a number of years, yet interest in them remains high,” said KyongSun Kong, Tokyo-based analyst in the Asian Financial Services Group at Celent, in the report. “The smartphones of today have functions and features that open a door to a new world of possibilities.

“One mobile phone can accommodate myriad needs, from business to entertainment,” she said. “Hana Bank is a financial institution that has gained attention by launching the first smartphone banking service in South Korea.

“However, what has subsequently served to ignite heightened interest in the institution is the array of novel and innovative features that the bank has brought to this service, including a GPS service, a mobile coupon service and an online personal financial management service.”

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. It is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is part of Marsh & McLennan Companies.

Smartphone banking exemplar
Hana Bank’s smartphone banking service has been the focus of attention as the first service of its kind in South Korea, per Celent.

However, being the first to market is not the only reason this service has attracted attention, per Ms. Kong.

Rather, it is Hana Bank’s array of innovative services—notably multiple online functions that include personal financial management, as well as a marketing strategy hinging on a novel coupon service—that have further thrust it into the spotlight.

A year has elapsed since Hana Bank launched its smartphone banking service.

The service’s subscriber base continues to grow, fueled both by the attractive service lineup and the bank’s innovative marketing strategy.

The bank’s unique approach has allowed it to disseminate its message by leveraging the power of cutting-edge communication tools such as social network services and QR codes, a type of two-dimensional bar code, cementing its reputation as a leader in the field.

Ms. Kong said that Hana Bank has used social network services and other modern-day marketing methods while actively harnessing the most advanced tools available in cobbling together its innovative service lineup.

In this way, the bank has succeeded in showcasing the advanced nature of smartphone banking and attracting customers.

“Hana Bank has differentiated itself by offering value-added services seldom seen in the industry and making them available on a smartphone,” Ms. Kong said. “Consumers have come to view Hana Bank as a pioneer, and this approach has clearly served the bank well.

“Hana Bank has been proactive in its use of cutting-edge marketing tools, such as social network services and QR codes,” she said. “In this way, it has been able to push the allure of smartphone banking by being at the forefront in terms of both service lineup and marketing approach.”

With the increasing proliferation of smartphones, one of the most serious issues is security.

Security is the area in which Hana Bank focused the most effort in rolling out its smartphone banking services.

As the first to market in South Korea, it had no template to follow.

This drove Hana Bank to develop the security framework for its smartphone banking services through the cooperation and collaboration of various experts, including financial supervisory agencies, security experts and an in-house security team established by the bank, per Celent.

“Hana Bank’s smartphone banking services have resulted in increased points of contact with existing and potential customers and enhanced customer satisfaction by creating greater ease of communication,” Ms. Kong said.

Final Take
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Commerce Daily