The steady growth in smartphone use in the past few years means more consumers are using their mobile devices to access digital services.
In fact, a growing number of consumers are using only their smartphones to go online, forgoing desktops, laptops, and tablets altogether.
Many digital businesses are successfully serving these mobile-only users—or “mobivores”—and forward-thinking financial institutions can retain and attract this segment by providing a compelling user experience.
According to Fiserv estimates, mobile-only users make up about 15% of a typical financial institution’s mobile banking user base. This group has high expectations for their smartphone experience in today’s 24/7 environment, meaning mobile can no longer be considered a secondary channel.
While mobile banking is typically used by consumers to complete tasks and access information quickly, mobile-only users are quite different.
Mobile-only users expect to use the mobile channel for a wider range of activities such as chatting with a member service representative, filling out and signing forms, receiving notifications, and checking account balances without a password.
The need to deliver a full-service mobile banking experience presents a unique challenge to financial institutions. It requires untangling dependencies on other channels, including online.
To add a payee to mobile bill pay, for example, a user generally has to log in to online banking—not a viable process for a mobile-only user.
Unlike most consumers, who want to use multiple banking channels, mobivores only care about what is available through the mobile channel.
This means certain mobile banking functionality, such as device-based enrollment, is much more important to these users, while other functionality, such as branch location capability, is less important (Figure I).
Many digital businesses and financial services providers have succeeded in serving the mobile-only consumer, and competition will only increase. Alternative financial services providers such as Moven and Bluebird, for example, focus almost exclusively on mobile banking users.
The mobivore user experience
Designed to benefit all mobile banking users, several capabilities are especially important to the mobivore, including self-service, direct communication and personalization.
For example, pre-login balance options and authentication through fingerprint and voice recognition facilitate quick, secure access to account information. Live chat and click-to-call options also appeal to mobile-only users, who want to make convenient, direct real-time connections when they need assistance.
Taking a picture of a check or bill to quickly and easily capture information (and avoid entering text on a small mobile screen) takes the hassle out of these mobile banking interactions.
In the same way, mobivores expect a user-friendly, mobile-based lending experience, from completing an application to checking balances and making payments.
Smartphones have a number of useful attributes for facilitating the delivery of the aforementioned capabilities, such as a camera and the ability to support push notifications (alerts), location-based service, and biometric-based authentication.
Whether managing travel, shopping, sending photos, or making social connections, consumers are accustomed to frictionless, innovative mobile experiences—and they expect the same when managing and moving their money.
A focus on delivering the best, most compelling user experience for all users will position financial institutions to meet the needs of the growing contingent of mobivores as well as more broadly connected mobile banking users.