"Customer-centricity" to drive banking IT investment

Increasingly mobile customers and enterprises are changing the shape of banks' IT expenditure

The banking sector is expected to up its investment in mobility-enabling technologies in response to increasingly mobile customers and enterprises, according to industry experts.

According to research firm IDC, the increasing penetration of smartphones throughout the Asia-Pacific (APAC) combined with faster mobile networks, such as the 4G LTE network recently announced by Telstra, were creating the expectation among consumers that they should be able to transact and access banking data remotely.

The firm predicts that 47 per cent of all mobile phone shipments in the APAC region will be smartphones by 2015, with 81 per cent of its use to be used for non-voice, data-based services by 2014.

Speaking at an Australian financial services roundtable, IDC research director for financial insights APAC, Michael Araneta, said banks would target their investments toward technologies which allowed customers to interact with their banks as they saw fit.

“Mobility is a very strong focus to some institutions… especially as these customers prefer to deal with [banks] through mobile channels,” he said.

“The other thing about mobility is the mobile staff — making sure that our staff, especially as they’re not desk-bound anymore — are able to deal with customers as effectively as possible either through their mobile devices or have mobile strategies in order for them to interact with customers.”

According to IDC research, this change in usage will lead banks to shift focus from internet banking projects to internet banking on mobile, such as Kaching by the Commonwealth Bank.

As a result, the firm has predicted more roll outs of mobile applications that will facilitate the bill payments; mobile-based account transfer services using mobile person-to-person payments, mobile augmented reality, or near field communications; and other financial transactions over smartphones and tablets.

In addition, banks are also expected to devise mobile strategies for bank staff to adapt to increasingly mobile customers. These will include aligning enterprise productivity strategies with increasingly mobile work styles, as well as responding to the penetration of bring your own device in the work place.

Other key areas driving customer-centricity include big data, 'instantaneous responses' — being able to response to customers more quickly and reducing waiting times, using social media as a feedback mechanism, and by adopting a single customer view or 'hyper-personalisation'.

Follow Diana Nguyen on Twitter: @diananguyen9

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More about APACCommonwealth Bank of AustraliaIDC AustraliaTelstra Corporation

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