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A fresh, bold and simple interface for mobile banking

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When the first mobile banking app was introduced about eight years ago, there were probably around 10-12 services. The most common services were Balance Enquiry, Mini Statement, Cheque Book Request, Cheque Status, Funds Transfer (within and outside the bank), Bill Payment, ATM Search, Branch Search, Information Services and Service Requests. Today’s mobile phone and the mobile apps are capable of supporting more than 100+ services. However, a new user will invariably get lost in the menu options. He has to search, navigate and experiment before he gets what he wants. In short, he does not have a guide for him to quickly direct him to the right window. Contrast this with a modern branch of a private sector bank. There will be a hostess who will be ready to ask your requirement and channelize you to the right counter for quick processing of your request.

What do you want to do?

What stops mobile banking from adoption this model? Talking to one of my industry friends, he said, “everybody wants to be heard first. Let the bank listen to the customer’s requirement first. Then he can be shown the exact path to the service”. So, we need a Mobile Banking Guide. This guide, friend or assistant can be a sophisticated software robot, an Intelligent Virtual Agent, a Voice Recognition Engine or a simple user-interface where the customer types in what he wants.
Once the customer’s inputs are taken, then the mobile banking guide will sort, sieve and search from the 100+ services offered by the bank and then show-up only those menu items, which are relevant for the service, which is sought by the customer. Most customers who are not IT-savvy are not interested in other banking services, until their immediate need is met and resolved to their complete satisfaction. Till such time, if you present them with unwanted information, it might cause more irritation and frustration.

A fresh, bold and simple interface for mobile banking
Hence a suggested model is to hide, hide and hide all such information till it is really required to be seen by the customer. In the new paradigm, “less is more”. The less information you show to the customer, the more is the need for laser-sharp accuracy to present what he wants to see. The emphasis is no longer on the quantity of information but more on the quality of information.

Welcome to the new mobile user interface – “What do you want to do today?”

Mr. Chandrashekar Rao has over two decades of experience in Telecom, Software and IT Product Development. He is an M. Tech in Communication Engineering from IIT, Mumbai and is a specialist in Mobile Banking product development & delivery.


Week that was in tech & mobile: February 27, 2015

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The lines between digital, mobile, technology and apps are blurring in today’s world. We at Robosoft are keen followers of developments in this arena. At the end of every week, we will share with you highlights of news items which caught our eye in this space.

Google Play app store to test paid placement in search results

Discoverability is an issue which every app developer grapples with. Google is to begin testing of what it called ‘sponsored’ search results within the Play Store. According to Recode, the move is intended to help developers better promote their apps in a store that boasts more than a million choices.

Apple announces ‘Spring Forward’ event for Apple Watch and more

Apple announced a special event, ‘Spring Forward’ to be held on March 9th. It is widely believed that more details of the Apple Watch will be presented at this event, among other things. Via.

Speaking of Apple Watch, the advertising campaign for it has started in earnest: it got a 12-page spread in the March issue of Vogue magazine. We at Robosoft believe that Apple is pressing the right buttons with its positioning of Apple Watch and look forward to exciting times.

Popular news app Circa has a web offering too

Close on the heels of Flipboard, the popular news app launching a web-version of their product, comes the news that Circa has followed suit. Is this an acknowledgement that omni-screen presence is a must for news brands? Via.

Unbundling in action at Facebook and BuzzFeed

Facebook has been a pioneer in unbundling of its apps, hiving off separate apps for Messenger, Pages Manager, Facebook Groups and even Stickered for Messenger. This week they launched Facebook Ads Manager, a new mobile app designed for advertisers to better manage their ads. BuzzFeed is experimenting with apps too – they launched Cute or Not, where you are presented with a picture of a cat or dog and you swipe right if it’s cute and left if it’s not. Well, ok. There are takers for that too. The philosophy of doing one thing and one thing well at play here.

What are your views on these developments? Do comment in.

Mobile apps and brand engagement

24 February, 2015

Brand owners face a daunting challenge today: how do I engage with my consumer across so many channels & media? Brand presence in social media has... #Opinion

Mobile apps and brand engagement

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Brand owners face a daunting challenge today: how do I engage with my consumer across so many channels & media? Brand presence in social media has become de rigueur for several years now to address this issue. Add engagement through mobile, especially mobile apps and the task is even more challenging. Consumers are in love with their mobile phones and apps play an important role in that experience. Flurry Analytics reported in November 2014 that time spent on mobile devices grew in the US by 9.3% – from 2 hrs and 42 minutes to 2 hrs and 57 minutes – all in 9 months. ComScore reported in August last year that mobile apps account for a majority of our time spent (higher than desktop usage or mobile web surfing) on digital media. But there is a caveat to such usage: consumers have a limited repertoire of apps they turn to most often. A majority of the apps downloaded may be used very rarely, which does not help in brand engagement if brand owners are considering bespoke apps.

So how do we overcome this problem? Turns out that if the app is of some use (utility, productivity or entertainment value) chances of the app being used are higher. Of course, that is no magic pill either. There are issues of app discovery, relevance and promotion which come into play. In this context, what furniture major, IKEA created recently represents out of the (app) box thinking. They did not create an app in the classical sense but created a keyboard shortcut, IKEA Emoticons, which functions as a communication tool. The link to the brand? Most of the icons relate to the home: couches, shelfs, drawers and so on.

Games are another great way to engage with consumers through bespoke creations with a strong link to the brand essence. Compared to traditional advertising, advergaming has a better chance of engaging with the consumer as gaming is an inherently immersive activity.

Brands need the right partner to create engaging mobile apps which help in deepening the consumer relationship. It calls for sound strategy, a robust process and a capable design team. If you are a brand owner seriously considering a bespoke mobile app, why not write to us? We will be happy to engage in a conversation.

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