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Study summary: the role of mobile in the success of banking and finance

Mobile banking and payment apps by now are well accepted in modern living. But with all novelties, new insights for improvement arise along the way. Therefore, many researchers have studied the role of mobile in the banking and finance sector. Here, you’ll find a short summary of some significant findings.

Study 1: Usability and privacy of mobile on a scale

There are many different mobile banking solutions available to consumers worldwide, making it easy to pay with the mobile phone and split bills with a group of friends. With this wide range of mobile banking services comes a wide range of differences. Some apps stand out in usability, where other less user friendly apps excel at security or privacy. In order to find out what is most important for the intention of consumers to use mobile banking, a study on privacy concerns and usage intention was performed.

In this study [1], the role of information privacy was measured in relation to the intention to use mobile banking. Information privacy concerns refer to consumer’s subjective views of fairness within the context of information privacy. This is a matter of customer’s rights to exercise control and autonomy on how their information is collected, used and shared by commercial websites such as banks. This affects their intention to expose personal information to internet firms. To determine to what degree such privacy concerns affect perceived trust of mobile banking, perceived risk of mobile banking and usage intention, a questionnaire was filled in by 425 respondents in 2016.

From this study, the researchers found that, where over 70% of respondents had experience with mobile banking, most people worry about personal information privacy as well as what information is gathered. The perceived risk negatively influenced the user’s information privacy concerns. By not being able to communicate face-to-face with banking employees, according to the results, the concerns for uncertainty of the internet were raised further. The researcher here stated mobile banking should provide convenience to the consumers in order to eliminate the uninspiring effects of mobile phones in banking tasks. This means that, even though privacy showed to play a significant role in the intention to use mobile banking, the need for clear and user friendly interfaces cannot be forgotten.

Study 2: Including the social factor of mobile banking

In contraction to the findings that risk and privacy concerns are important determinants for the intention to use mobile banking, another study [2] expected an influence of social image. The researchers determined this social image as “the extent to which users may derive respect and admiration from peers in their social network as a result of their IT usage”. This social image is expected to influence the percepted ease of use, usefulness and intention to use mobile banking apps.

To investigate these hypotheses, a web study was applied with 103 Spanish consumers. In this study, they were shown an explanatory video of the mobile application of Banco Satander after which they were asked to fill in a questionnaire. Based on evaluation of this data -in line with the expectations- social image showed to be of significant influence on the perceived ease of use and the perceived usefulness. This in turn influenced the intention to use the banking app. Also, the awareness of the presence of others may lead to a higher intention to use the mobile payment app, as the next study will demonstrate.

In this study, perceived risk was not found to be of significant influence, which might shift focus toward communication campaigns explaining the advantages of the mobile application. From a marketing perspective, this means it could render for banks to shift their efforts towards allowing users to experience some form of recognition from peers. The third study discusses one option for implementing peer recognition. Study 3: Gamification to influence intention to use banking apps?

The final study [3] we will discuss, focused on the role of gamification. Here, gamification is defined as “the use of game mechanics and game design techniques in nongame contexts to design behaviours, to develop skills or to engage people in innovation” and “as a technique of influencing the motivation or engagement or people to solve complex problems, to perform certain actions or just to have fun”. Though gamification and banking do not logically go hand in hand -as banking is serious business- it is hypothesized that gamification can be used to reduce barrier to systems like low usability and security issues.

To make this more concrete, some examples of gamification are mentioned: points for action, badges for rewards, leader boards for competition and cash prizes to encourage service engagement, add financial education and increase customer engagement. Though most current banking apps are not designed to include an element of fun, according to this research, it might render to do so. A questionnaire-based research performed amongst 326 Brazilian customers, showed there is no need for banks to be so serious when it comes to user experience. Gamification in mobile banking services, if designed properly, can make mobile banking more exciting, more interesting and enjoyable for customers. In turn this would lead to higher customer engagement and satisfaction.

Moreover, the results of the previous study were confirmed as the importance of social influences is said to grow when gamification is introduced in banking. With gamification, customers can receive recognition from their peers for their achievements such as saving goals as social interaction increases across social networking sites or the previously mentioned leader boards.

So, even though mobile banking apps have been around for a while and will continue to play an important role, there are some considerations to influence customer’s intention to use an app as well as improvements in customer engagement and satisfaction. Because customer’s expectations are changing quickly, this will continue to be the topic of many studies. Of course, CM Telecom will stay on top of these results so you can count on us to keep you up to date on the latest developments of mobile in banking and finance. CM has specialised in mobile solutions for the Banking and Finance industry and offers a wide range of solutions such as SMS and Voice solutions for authentication, alerts, reminders or payment notifications, as well as app development.

[1] Tseng, J. T., Han, H. L., Su, Y. H., & Fan, Y. W. (2017). The Influence of Intention to Use the Mobile Banking-The Privacy Mechanism Perspective. Journal of Management Research, 9(1), 117-137.

[2] Muñoz-Leiva, F., Climent-Climent, S., & Liébana-Cabanillas, F. (2017). Determinants of intention to use the mobile banking apps: An extension of the classic TAM model. Spanish Journal of Marketing-ESIC.

[3] Baptista, G., Baptista, G., Oliveira, T., & Oliveira, T. (2017). Why so serious? Gamification impact in the acceptance of mobile banking services. Internet Research, 27(1), 118-139.

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