The mobile revolution was high up on the list of priorities for many of the customers and partners at the SAP International Conference for Banking – and not just in the dedicated mobile presentations.
Dave Curran of Commonwealth Bank of Australia warned against thinking that “a mobile solution” was a single product: customers want to do different banking tasks using different devices at different times of the day. In fact, banking on tablets by CBA’s customers in Australia peaked during the TV talent show The Voice. When tablet owners were sitting down to watch TV, they took the opportunity to catch up on their banking tasks.
Thorsten Weinrich of SAP, opening the dedicated mobile sessions, cited Gartner’s “rule of three” – if you have three mobile applications, three operating systems or three back-end systems you should have a mobile platform – not just for the benefit of customers but for employees.
Fanie van Heerden of Standard Bank showed how mobility could work for employees and customers. Sales agents went to unbanked people in South Africa, equipped with Android smartphones. Using the SAP Unwired Platform, they could photograph and upload identity documents, open a bank account and activate a bank card within ten minutes. Then, the new account owner could use their own, more basic mobile phones to perform simple banking tasks – often for the first time.
Then the focus changed from one of Africa’s largest and oldest banks to one of Europe’s newest, VoiceCash Bank, a startup with 60 employees. Using SAP’s Sybase 365 Mobiliser products, VoiceCash is helping another underserved community – migrant workers in Europe – to send money back to their families, and creating prepaid, mobile-enabled credit cards.
These not only allow traditional users to control their spending, but also give communities who find it hard to get traditional credit cards – the unbanked and those with limited credit histories – the ability to access services reliant on credit card payments, such as e-commerce.
Mobile services are not just changing the way core audiences – relatively affluent and connected customers – are banking, but also opening up new markets, and changing the way banks themselves work.