Our reliance on mobile technology is an ever- increasing phenomenon. Over the last five years traffic from smartphones has experienced significant increases. In 2010, 15 million gigabytes (15 petabytes) were used by mobile devices each month, in 2015; this is estimated to rise to 325 petabytes. Part of this increase is due to the versatile nature in which we use our handheld technology. Not only do we use them to connect to our friends, family and colleagues, we also use them for shopping and now more than ever, banking!
Consumers relying on this method has resulted in the rise in demand for domestic and business banking apps. Not just for the traditional handheld device, but now also for wearable technology. The majority of apps now are designed to keep the time it takes to carry out day-to-day essentials to a minimum, with banking certainly up there as on the most important.
Consumers and businesses alike are looking towards mobile devices as a way of optimising their productivity. Apps are the core of the user’s experience, and bespoke software on these platforms is a growth opportunity for many companies.
The movement to mobile banking has seen the creation of a multitude of apps. HSBC, Natwest, Barclays and RBS are just some of the high street banks that have adopted the technology. More than 12.4 million apps have been downloaded, with over 39 million transactions made per week on mobile devices in 2013.
Statistics provided by the individual banks have shown that on average Barclays customers are using mobile banking up to 24 times a month, while Santander’s banking app has seen a 40% increase in downloads. By the end of 2014, four million RBS and Natwest customers were using their banking app.
Of course it isn’t only banking which has seen the need for an increase in app adoption. Companies such as PayPal have also seen an increase in the use of their mobile app. The company provides digital wallets for its customers, and positons itself as a secure alternative to purchasing online with a credit card. Its ‘single click approach’ has made paying for goods online so much more efficient for consumers. In the last quarter of 2014, over $485,000 (£318,469) was exchanged via its servers every minute.
Its commission based business model meant that Q4 revenues were in excess of $2.16 billion accounting for an 18% growth compared to the previous year. PayPal’s app provides not only an opportunity to pay for goods and services via a secure digital wallet, but it’s also a portal for the latest offers and promotions from selected retailers.
PayPal also provides dedicated app based systems for businesses to check payments, manage their accounts and see the status of transactions in real-time.
Depending on your responsibilities and the business model you work to, bespoke mobile applications can provide the finance industry with a wealth of features and analytics to make informed business decisions:
Apps which are dedicated to collating and consolidating vast amounts of information and news into a condensed version provide users the opportunity to stay up-to-date with latest trends in the market. What information is displayed can be automated or pre-selected by the user, adding further flexibility.
Those who are account or hedge fund managers will need to constantly monitor the value of stocks as well as the progress of transactions instantly. Dedicated mobile apps would provide users with real-time analytics as well as features to further analyse data to ensure they are making the right decision. The app could also contain contact details and instant messaging facilities to communicate with colleagues and clients.
For those who are part of a senior management team, apps which are designed as a bespoke Management Information Systems (MIS) will provide management with a summary of all daily operations. Statistics and graphs could be displayed for presentations and to influence new strategic initiatives. A summary of all business activity would support the notion of being able to identify opportunities to improve productivity.