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Mobile banking takes more than cool technology

By Jeff Hasen

I have always been funny about my money.

Yeah, cheap, too, but definitely funny. How so? You will likely laugh at my resistance to deposit a check through an ATM machine – in 2010.

As progressive as I am about technology, to this day I have always walked into a bank, waited on line and walked out with my deposit record delivered to me by a teller.

So you now want me to adopt a behavior that has me bumping or scanning my money into my account?

Now that is funny.

Bank on mobile shopping
For whatever reason, I feel less unsure about purchasing something through my smartphone. Especially when I know and trust the merchant – think Apple’s iTunes or Amazon.

I am five years into my mobile career and about five weeks away from deciding whether to make purchases via mobile on Black Friday.

Here is what I need to be a confident shopper: simplicity, speed, product information, competitive prices and the ability to purchase safely.

Entertainment is important, but on such a day as Black Friday, shoppers such as I really just want to get in, get it done and get out.

We have counseled our clients against setting up expectations that cannot be met. A former boss of mine calls that result anticipointment. I call it a failure at the brand’s moments of trust.\

The prep work—from load-testing all the way through to fulfillment verification—is more important than the day or days of the sale.

With that said, failures can happen.

It is crucial to plan ahead on how to communicate with consumers, be it through social media or through an opt-in relationship that gives you a permission-based dialogue with a consumer.

Beyond that, brands need to be sure they have supply of product on hand and a means to effectively fulfill orders so consumers will be satisfied and return. That is true for all national campaigns.

I will undoubtedly make a purchase through my iPhone. That makes me an early adopter.

But not when it comes to mobile banking.

Telling it as it is
In a recent KPMG study, U.S. respondents who said they were comfortable using their mobile devices for financial transactions grew only to 16 percent, a 6 percent increase from the last survey. Respondents not comfortable with such usage declined to 55 percent, an 11 percent drop from the last survey.

Among all U.S. respondents who have not conducted banking through a mobile device, 52 percent cited security and privacy as the primary reason.

Consistent with many technology advances, younger consumers are more likely to participate at least in the early days.

I used to be young. Now I am just cheap, funny and not about to abandon my teller.

Jeff Hasen is chief marketing officer of Hipcricket, Kirkland, WA. Reach him at [email protected].