Consumers are open to mobile banking but still fear privacy/security issues. Banks can help ease the adoption of mobile banking by rethinking their trust relationships with consumers.

Banks need to educate consumers to mobile banking solutions

Although a majority of consumers (57%) still prefer using their computer for online banking, a lot of them are also becoming more open to the idea of using their mobile phone instead. KPMG’s fifth annual Consumers and Convergence survey showed that an increasing number of people in America have already used their mobile device to conduct banking transactions: 33% in 2011 compared to 19% in 2010 and only 9% in 2008. While the main concerns are security-related, banks can proactively contribute to the adoption of mobile banking solutions among consumers, by educating users to those solutions and by building a trust relationship that acknowledges the changes brought by the Web their traditional ecosystem.

Banks have to make mobile banking look “seamless and familiar”

39% of respondents to the KPMG study said security and privacy concerns was the only reason why they hadn’t already switched to mobile banking. Also, 54% of respondents indicated they didn’t know their bank had a mobile banking solution, and some of them were even convinced their bank didn’t offer this service when it actually did. In other words, banks need to better communicate about their own mobile banking services through simple information or marketing campaigns, but also by making mobile banking more visible amidst the rest of their banking services. Banks should also develop user interfaces and apps that make mobile baking look seamless and familiar, in order for customers to easily adopt mobile banking.

Banks need to redefine their trust relationship in the digital era

The study also points out that banks tend to rely too much on their traditional brand image to build trust with consumers. As KPMG’s Mitch Siegel points out, banks need to leverage other elements than their traditional brand image to gain customer’s trust for mobile banking: "Mobile commerce is evolving, and telcos, media companies, retailers, financial institutions and other service providers cannot assume that their previous reputation is enough to gain the consumer's trust when handling financial and personal data.” KPMG asked respondents what makes them feel a service provider is secure and respects privacy: 72% mentioned the “brand/reputation of the service provider”, 60% a “better disclosure of privacy/security measures”, and 59% think an independent third party or a trust mark should conduct privacy and security audits. "There will be new winners and new losers, but the winners will be those who get the trust element right." 


By Alice Gillet
English editorial manager