When I wrote about the impact of mobile technologies on retail banking, I was really talking about data. Fundamentally, the interactions which mobile banking enables are about data – balances and transactions, and how they can be viewed and altered on the move.
However, mobile devices are not just ways to request and alter information. They also generate a huge amount of data, and share that information. Often the user gets a little by giving a little: by providing information – such as their location – they get better directions, or location-specific offers.
The more comprehensive and useful the information and the more capable service providers are to interpret it, the better the services that can be offered. And the better the services the more they will be used, adding further transactional data.
The Age of the Data Device
According to Cisco research, there were already 12.5 billion connected devices on the planet in 2010. By 2020, they expect there to be 50 billion – 6.58 devices per person, all generating data.
The ability of service providers – whether retailers, energy utilities, local government or retail banks – to gather, connect, analyse and act on the vast quantities of data generated by interactions through these devices will have a huge impact on their ability to serve their customers. Successful data analysis will also help to manage and predict risks and demands, and be able to allocate resources efficiently.
The growth in data is partly driven by and partly drives the updating of systems. The retail banking industry is discovering new applications enabled by new technology. ATB Financial is now able to offer different interest rates to different members within the same, depending on the different needs of different stages of life.
This kind of tailored approach is the precursor to highly flexible banking services, able to change rapidly to meet needs that customers may not even realise they have.
How ready are banks to deal with this influx of data? And which applications do you think will make the greatest difference to customers and to banks? Can it still be “business as usual” when the end-of-day accounts can run every second?