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 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.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.