The banking industry has always been at the forefront of technology, harnessing the latest developments to reach their customers wherever they may be. They were quick to adopt websites when the internet rose to prominence, and now they are doing the same with mobile technology. In fact, the banking industry is currently pioneering in every new tech platform on the market.
But simply having a presence on mobile platforms isn’t enough – it has to be good enough for consumers to invest their time and effort in downloading and using the apps.
The Direction of Mobile
Mobile apps are a world apart from traditional computer softwares or even websites. Banking websites use password and pin-based authentication, but fail horribly to provide a personalised experience to users once they log in. User pages are built on templates, which for practical reasons are no different from any other user pages, with the exception of the user name and account details.
We live in an age where a cab or room hire are just a click away; where we can practically buy anything in the world with the tap of a few buttons on our smart devices. In essence, we are rapidly heading towards a generation where we simply need to establish a few conditions and everything will run of its own accord. You will not have to order milk when you run out, the fridge will do so automatically, and you will only have to authenticate the payment.
Unfortunately, banks and similar companies in the financial sector are frozen in a time where many transactions and processes require an individual to visit a physical branch. Why can’t we just open an app and create a bank account while sitting on a bus in 2015?
Overcoming Security Concerns
Of course, there are obvious security concerns holding back such advances - this level of access risks creating a gateway to malpractices and abuses of the system. But as innovation on these platforms continues, so do improvements to the security measures available, with better and smarter ways to authenticate accounts and transactions. Apple Pay has demonstrated that effective security can harmonise with the easy-to-use features favoured by the industry.
Similar security measures can be used by mobile app developers to authenticate users on mobile banking apps, increasing their functionality and adding to the features available. This same degree of authentication can allow users to personalise their mobile apps, to enable a better user experience.
Modernising the Banking Industry
In an era where companies like Google are striving to make passwords redundant once and for all, in favour of more personalised authentication systems like fingerprints and visual/audio authentication, the banking industry is lagging behind.
When a single fingerprint can be used to identify an individual on their smartphone or tablet, it seems impractical that banks should insist on using ID numbers, passwords and multiple PIN numbers, which the users must enter every time they log in or make a transaction. If banking apps are to remain relevant in the mobile app era, they must be upgraded to provide easier and more secure access for their customers.