24 October 2016
Today’s banking customers expect a consistent online experience, across any channel, on any device, at any time. Photo: Bloomberg
Today’s banking customers expect a consistent online experience, across any channel, on any device, at any time. Photo: Bloomberg

How to create a better mobile banking experience

Delivering a high-quality user experience across different networks and devices is a challenge. Today’s banking customers demand excellence regardless of how they choose to interact. Whether the experience is good or bad — customers will remember the brand. It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative incident.

Here are some key factors to implement while developing a mobile banking strategy:

1. Make mobile banking apps faster

Customer expectations are being shaped by their digital experiences — both banking and non-banking. Today’s banking customers expect a consistent online experience, across any channel, on any device, at any time. A poor mobile experience is the leading cause of abandonment, but is also the easiest problem to fix.

Banks can solve problematic performance issues using content delivery and dynamic network acceleration solutions. Front-end optimizations, including adaptive image compression and device characterization, can help improve performance for a great mobile web experience.

2. Tailor web experiences to mobile banking users of all types

Today’s banking customers are using hundreds of different devices, browsers and networks. Depending on network congestion, page response times can be 50 percent slower than another page. Some customers will adopt a ‘Responsive Web Design’ approach, creating a single website that automatically responds to the current device, and changes its design accordingly.

However, there is a performance trade off due to larger file sizes. One of the solutions to the speed issue with Responsive Web Design is often called Responsive Images. Using Responsive Images means loading images in a smarter fashion: avoiding the download of hidden images, and ensuring that devices with smaller screens download smaller images.

3. Rapidly direct customers to the desired content

Native apps are a solid choice for frequently used applications, but they can be far more costly to maintain. With content delivery network service, banks can define which functions to deliver via apps versus the mobile web and intelligently direct users to the appropriate site. This low-latency redirect minimizes end-user wait time. It also offloads the origin server and frees the content provider from having to maintain a continually changing database of device capabilities.

4. Measure the business impact of all revenue channels

The most important step to improving site performance is measuring all end-user web experiences. Banks need to measure performance and correlate these measurements against the key business metrics (e.g., revenue and conversion) of each revenue channel. This enables banks to identify specific performance gaps and refocus on website features and capabilities when appropriate.

5. Know the users and optimize for their needs

Measuring website’s page load times, as experienced by end users, will help banks gain insights as to customers’ overall web experience. Banks can make informed decisions and quickly rectify problems as related to performance geographies, browsers, devices and connectivity settings. Collecting and analyzing the data individually, rather than looking at the overall average performance, will help banks understand their users and deliver optimized experiences based on their individual needs.

6. Protect data, sites and applications from a security breach

In today’s quickly changing IT environment, mobile sites and applications are often one of the weakest and most-targeted points. According to a recent survey, one-third of 130 mobile phone apps used by Hongkongers to facilitate online transactions are vulnerable to hackers. Using a combination of mobile device management and a cloud-based firewall to protect mobile infrastructure is key to reducing business disruption, providing revenue protection, improving application response time and reducing risk to brand reputability.

7. Prevent downtime with a DDoS protection solution

Financial Services Institutions are at an increased risk of more frequent and sophisticated efforts to compromise their websites and applications in order to steal intellectual property and customer data. Having a DDoS (distributed denial of service) protection strategy that offers scalable protection — without compromising performance — is essential to maintain business continuity and brand reputation while providing a solution for customers to simplify their financial lives.

Web performance directly impacts user experience, engagement and revenue. As demand for online banking continues to grow and more customers rely on mobile devices for managing their finances, financial services institutions need to ensure they provide seamless and consistent user experience across all channels.

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Industry Marketing Manager, Financial Services, Akamai Technologies

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