Mobile Banking: How Far Behind Are Our Banks?

If you want an idea of how far behind our banks are in embracing full-featured mobile banking along with social media, have a read of Jeff Molander’s latest post at eConsultancy.

Jeff uses the example of the giant Spanish bank, BBVA, which has a great sounding mobile app “Tú cuentas”, or “you count”, which along with the usual features, such as transaction history and bill payment, there are also Mint-like tools to help analyse spending and saving habits, plus they’ve added a layer of “collective intelligence” (the social media mentioned above) to give personalised recommendations to aid in customer decisions on financial products and spending, for example.

BBVA’s mobile application offers “Amazon-like” suggestions based on the customer’s preference settings, specific financial objectives and actual behavior (how customers interact with the application, their bank accounts and other financial institutions).

The suggestions could take the form of the following:

  1. Practical financial tips to inform customers before they make money choices.
  2. A short list of most liked products matching each customer spending patterns.
  3. Financial products and services that may better address the individual customers’ needs.
  4. Relevant facts and aggregate stats that provide insights on BBVA’s entire customer community and that of the individual.

Whilst there are 3rd party tools available that are starting to touch on this sort of functionality, as far as I’m aware there are no major UK banks able to give this level of service with either their online or mobile banking tools (Natwest has one of the most popular banking apps for the iPhone, but it doesn’t come near to this), which highlights how much catching up there is to be done within the UK banking market.

You can take a look at a demonstration of BBVA’s web-based tools in the Youtube video below (with only a brief appearance by an iPhone at the very end).

There’s plenty more about the BBVA tool, together with screenshots on iPhone, Blackberry and Nokia phones, at the Strands blog – it’s worth pointing out that this was published nearly 2 years ago, again highlighting how late our banks are to the game.

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