Mobile business and business mobility

September 8, 2014

Kęstutis Gardžiulis explores the meaning of mobility in the financial services industry and what banks need to do in order to ensure their mobile channels are a success. 

The ‘mobile business’ concept, defining business activity in the mobile area, needs no extra explanation. But we should instead consider ’business mobility’, and how that relates to mobile business.

The term ‘mobility’, derived from the Latin word ‘mobilitas’, means the ability to move. And so in the financial services industry, when we talk about business mobility I have in mind a bank’s ability to follow changes in user habits and modify its business respectively to satisfy them. Mobile users browse differently, respond differently and purchase differently. Banks therefore need to know this different kind of virtual interaction and become mobile also – moving towards the customers and moving together with them.

Mobility of the bank arises from the customer-centric approach, which is so important and so widely spoken about in business today. Know your customers, clarify their needs and try to respond to them better than your competitors do – these are the keystones to stay competitive in the market.
Today banks’ clients are more mobile. They are often on the go and they are always ‘switched on’. Though the lines between business and personal life are becoming blurred, users’ needs in the digital space highly depend on when and where they

are connected. Different situations in their personal lives determine not only the device they use, but also the banking services they need. For example, a man in the bar most probably will not use his mobile device to pay for utilities, but instead may share virtual money with a friend by tapping mobile phones together.

Understanding these different needs and distinguishing their priorities in different situations is of great importance. It’s not enough just to transfer your business to a mobile application. There should be a clear strategy how to improve an app constantly, on the basis of data analysis about client habits and preferences. When you know your customers’ needs, you’re able to offer relevant services or products.

A considerable part of business mobility depends on exploitation of the technical potential of mobile devices. However, these technical points often remain underestimated, and banks are satisfied just having a mobile app with an e-banking version adapted for smartphones. It‘s great if it ensures consistency of communication and information across both channels, but it’s no longer enough to stay competitive.

Mobile technologies provide many opportunities to create exclusive features for mobile devices and so stand out from the crowd. Sometimes even a small improvement, created by using technological advancements of the device, may become your app’s springboard for success. Bill payment by taking a photo of a QR code or barcode, phone shake to know your account balance and many other features generated through ingenuity and creativity, will continue to be popular as they allow users to perform actions easily, quickly and more conveniently.

Any progress in your mobile business is a step towards business mobility. Progress will come from providing customers a variety of possibilities to choose from. Being free to choose and move wherever you wish – this is what counts for mobile civilization.

Kęstutis Gardžiulis is CEO at Etronika