Monday’s availability of Apple Pay will expedite people’s daily reliance on technology. It brings easy-to-use banking technology into the hands of every person – meaning in future, we’ll just grab our phone on the way out of the door, not stopping to worry about our wallet or purse.
We have always relied on our bank to get the right things done. Now there is added pressure on the banks to ensure this technology works and it is being used to deliver the best possible experience.
Apple Pay certainly won’t kill off the banks. It’s a positive example of how mobile is changing the ways organisations serve and engage with customers. As people adapt to this new style of transacting, the pressure is on banks to ensure their applications are able to cope with demand.
While it may seem paradoxical, banks can best adapt themselves by playing to their traditional strengths.
Software-defined businesses, such as Facebook, have created platforms through which an entire generation of consumers experience and interact with the world, whereas banking – whether online, through an app or on the high street, is still seen by many as a chore.
Customers only engage with a banking app when they need to make a transaction. That’s bad news for banks because the decline of the high street branch means there are fewer opportunities to engage one-to-one with customers.
But banks don’t just exist to enable payments. Aside from the wide range of pensions, loans and savings services, banks play a vital role in educating and advising their customers. Today, mobile is the best channel through which to reach these customers, but we need to move beyond the idea of ‘banking’ apps. Instead, banks need to honour the personal relationship between customer and bank manager.
Much as you wouldn’t tolerate a bank manager staring blankly at you over the counter, customers will not stand for slow and unreliable apps.
The rise of mobile banking and services like Apple Pay place even more focus on quality of user experience. Banks must adopt the correct technologies to ensure app performance and to spot glitches before they even hit the customer.