Author: David Webber
New smartphone technology and the opportunities they present to the financial services industry
Following months of speculation, complete with the token leaks and rumours flying around, Apple finally “gave us the hint” that the latest iPhone is (in all likelihood) going to be released this week.
Improvements in smartphone technology present significant opportunities to the financial services industry. In fact, several banks have been busy exploiting the most recent developments, exploring how they might improve the process of mobile banking for customers.
Touch ID and banking apps
In February this year, for example, RBS and Natwest became the first major banks to introduce Touch ID as an authentication mechanism for their banking apps. Other providers soon followed the trend, and to great effect: our recent research has found that a third (33%) of consumers say they use mobile banking more now that Touch ID has been introduced.
Banks have also been taking advantage of optical smartphone technologies. Barclays recently introduced optical scanning software to enable customers to bank cheques using their smartphones, simply by taking a photograph of them – and were hailed as industry leaders as a result.
The new iPhone and mobile banking
So what can we expect from the much anticipated new iPhone? And how might its new components transform mobile banking? According to recent reports, the standout features will be a new Force Touch display and significantly improved Touch ID capabilities.
This is good news since the integration of Touch ID is fast becoming a deal-breaker for banking customers, given the safety benefits of biometric security and the speed and convenience of not having to recall elaborate passwords. Our recent research shows that eight in ten people are ready to ditch their passwords in favour of biometric security measures. Plus, 40% of consumers say they would even consider switching banks to have access to a fingerprint scanner on their mobile banking app. If the new iPhone does feature an improved Touch ID the opportunity for banks to further improve the authentication process, making it easier and safer than ever before, is clear.
Streamlining the customer’s banking journey
Depending on how it is integrated, it is possible we may see a similar consumer demand as Force Touch is introduced. Since the feature enables users to interact with an app by combining the usual touch gestures with pressure, there is an opportunity for banks to streamline the content of their apps (for example) and revolutionise the way customers interact with them: windows might be scrolled through at different speeds depending on the pressure applied on the screen, or varying degrees of pressure might trigger different functions. However software developers choose to integrate the feature, Force Touch – through its ability to streamline the customer journey and offer added convenience – is sure to benefit mobile banking.
Increasingly advanced smartphone technology is enabling banks to make mobile banking safer, easier to use and more convenient than ever before, encouraging more customers than ever to manage their finances via their mobiles. Therefore, the launch of the latest iPhone is likely to be a pivotal time for financial services providers, and it will be exciting to see what they will do to push the new features to their limit. While the jury will remain out on what will actually be revealed until 9th September, banking software developers would be well advised to take note and be mindful of how the sector could benefit from the innovations that may become available.