Let’s bring banking and technology Experts together and open a discussion on the challenges of mobile banking! That was our main thought behind organizing the “Technology Breakfast” event, which took place by the end of March 2023. The main organizers were LeanCode along with Kearney and Banking Technology Forum with the support of the Polish Banks Association. What have we all learned during this event? Keep reading.
How did it all start?
Everything started from the “Mobile Banking in Poland 2022 From the User’s Perspective” Report, but let us tell you more about it.
How often do you have a chance to talk with Experts responsible for developing a product that most of us use daily? - banking mobile apps. We assume that such an opportunity doesn’t happen every day. Well, we at LeanCode, a company that has been building mobile and web applications for 7 years, have had such an opportunity because it has been a part of our job. However, we realized there were questions and aspects we all had been wondering about, and there wasn’t a source gathering insights on mobile banking from different angles.
We decided to gather Experts from various companies that work in or with the banking industry to prepare the Report on Mobile Banking in Poland. This report includes five parts of the study such as:
- The result of the users’ survey on changes in the needs and their behavior as mobile banking customers,
- The analysis of 21 mobile banking applications available in Poland in terms of 48 features.
- The summary of the current state, most important trends, and changes in the banking market in Poland.
- Interviews with banking Experts from 8 Banks on opportunities and challenges they see resulting from the implementation of new technologies and the changing business environment.
- Tips and examples of good practice in areas such as: EBPP, ESG, Inclusive Design, automation of SMS communication, and shortening Time to Market.
Here you can download the Report (available in Polish and English)
This Report gives a solid point of view on mobile banking in Poland. However, what was missing was an open discussion, and that is what led to the onsite meeting with Experts during the “Technology Breakfast” event in Warsaw.
The Technology Breakfast by LeanCode - what have we learned?
The Technology Breakfast event was full of interesting conversations and guests from the banking, fintech, and technology industries. The agenda of the event was divided into two main parts: Speeches on mobile banking and an Expert Debate.
Speeches were presented by Maciej Gawinecki - Managing Partner at Kearney & Ignite, and Łukasz Kosman - CEO & Co-founder at LeanCode. The Expert Debate was attended by: Karolina Mitraszewska, President of Nest Bank; Honorata Byczyńska, Director of the Processes and Project Management Department at Bank Millennium, Paweł Widawski, President of Fintech Poland; and the event was hosted by Bartłomiej Nocoń, Director of Polish Bank Association as well as Łukasz Kosman.
Below we present 9 key findings that attendees of the event might have heard, and you shouldn’t miss:
1. Mobile banking applications are today an obligatory channel of every bank (and in the future, even the basis for functioning):
- 85% of digital customers are users of mobile applications.
- Redirecting traffic from local bank branches to mobile applications can reduce 7-9 times the cost of customer service.
- Nowadays, mobile apps act as platforms - their Time to Market is 10 times shorter than other online channels when introducing new features and generating 20 times higher customer reach.
- The mobile channel forces us to be up to date with technological trends, e.g., Generative AI that will allow us to conduct personalized communication with clients or assist employees in their daily work.
2. NPS of mobile banking apps shows that there is still room for improvement:
- The application cannot remain only a service channel. To take the next step, the development of banking applications must become one of the bank's priorities.
- The use of technology and digital channels should be perceived as one of the pillars of the bank's development strategy.
- Identifying new potential functionalities should go beyond traditional banking services, such as motorways or public transport payments.
- It is worth improving Customer Experience on the basis of identified customer preferences and habits as well as best market practices, e.g., by implementing an effective system to monitor own expenses or by minimizing the number of clicks necessary to solve the case.
3. There are six areas to keep in mind when thinking about the application of the future:
- Digital Feature Guide: Today's mobile apps have many features, while >95% of customers use around 2-3 of them. The application of the future must "talk" to the client and be his guide to the possibilities offered.
- Data architecture: Collecting the right data allows you to create a personalized UX and power bank analytics required by the business.
- Technology gives an advantage: An automated graphical interface and the use of breakthrough technologies (AI, Cloud Platforms, Hyperpersonalization) should be the cornerstone of the application.
- Easy-to-understand interface: Creating an almost "imperceptible" experience will make interactions natural/human.
- Unique experience: Customer service should be based on: support with the right knowledge, proactive problem-solving, and listening to customer feedback.
- Security and trust: Only an indisputably secure solution inspires customer trust, and security should be thought of ahead of time.
4. Mobile is the dominant segment of banking channels:
- Customers become mobile-only, and banks need to adapt: There are 18.7 mln active mobile banking users in Poland, out of which 12.5 mln use only the bank's mobile application (data from 2022).
- Banking apps have become a daily used product: 45% of all Polish banking customers (based on the survey) use a mobile banking app every day, and 40% use a mobile banking app several times a week.
- Mobile apps are much more often used to manage personal finances than websites: 30% of survey respondent claims they only use mobile banking.
- A good application helps attract customers: 57% of bank customers indicate that the mobile application is an important factor when choosing their bank's offer.
- The mobile application must provide a high-level UX: The User Experience of mobile banking apps is gaining importance. Intuitiveness was indicated as one of the most significant aspects that users pay attention to by as many as 78% of respondents.
5. Ensuring access to a wide range of products and services is a must-have for a modern bank:
- Opening a bank account only via the application has become a standard: Creating an account only via the mobile application of a given bank is possible in 15 out of 21 tested banking applications.
- Bank customers more often use those functions that apply to their everyday life: According to survey respondents, the 3 most important functions of banking apps are: ordering a payment card, the possibility of paying parking fees and buying tickets for public transport.
- When making online payments, respondents most often choose “Blik” out of other available options: 40% of respondents use this method several times a month. 14 out of 21 tested banking applications offer access to this method of payment.
- Managing a personal budget via a mobile banking app is still a challenge: 95% of tested apps offer access to the history of payment transactions. However, most of the features, such as automatic categorization of transactions, setting budgets, changing categorization rules, and identifying subscriptions, are still available only in some of the banks.
6. There are 5 dominant trends in banking:
- Mobile-only: From the user's perspective, the mobile banking app should act as a digital bank, offering its full functionality.
- Customer-centric: It is crucial for banks to focus on customer needs. The priority is to build trust, convenience, and usability.
- Hyperpersonalization: The application should personalize the interaction with the customer, offering them tailored offers, advice, and interface.
- Omnichannel: Effective integration of the application with other channels of the bank should be ensured, and a smooth transition between them should be ensured.
- Artificial Intelligence: Global banks use artificial intelligence in almost every area of their operation: service customers, counteracting fraud and laundering money, credit decisions, risk management, and automation of back-office processes.
7. The scale of changes in banking is enormous. Banks have turned into digitalization leaders with vast IT facilities:
- The market forces the rapid implementation of new solutions, and the key factor is Time-to-Market. Banks are focusing on minimizing Time-to-Market by optimizing organization, processes, and technology.
- Today's key technological distinguishing features are: well-organized infrastructure, optimized implementation chain, and cross-platform technology for building mobile applications, e.g., Flutter.
- Value Added Services are slowly becoming a standard. Banks want to offer a lot of different value-added services via the mobile application and its interfaces so that the customer fulfills any need through it.
- Cloud solutions are gaining importance, and some of the processes of offered services are already implemented in the cloud in banks. The cloud makes it possible to increase the number of services available to the customer and to deliver these services more easily.
- Banks are becoming financial software houses - powerful institutions with vast IT and infrastructural resources that put technology first. They also struggle with some of the challenging characteristics of a software house, i.e., the fight for talent and a need to motivate teams to search for innovations.
8. Banks and other financial institutions have to face their limitations and weaknesses in order to be able to develop effectively:
- Banks and other companies face budget constraints, as well as the fact that at a given time, a given team can only implement a given range of functions that users need now. That is why prioritization and good research on their needs are essential to know where to allocate resources.
- In order to compete with other institutions, the bank, on the one hand, can catch up in terms of features and implement what it lacks and what the competition offers, and on the other hand, it can try to look beyond the banking sector itself and see how fintech companies operate and what they offer.
- Optimization processes inside the organization, including the implementation of the Agile approach, and treating internal teams that deal with innovation with greater importance can support banks in their functioning.
- We still know too little about the features of mobile apps in other countries and forget that the competitors of Polish banks are not only competitors from Poland. Banks should follow the changes and innovations taking place in Asia, North America, and Western Europe.
9. Banks make many mistakes in designing and building applications that users identify very quickly:
- Post-Update Errors: Problems at the application development level mean that customers often receive updated but non-functional applications.
- Removing functionalities without listening to the voice of customers: Seemingly uninteresting functionalities may turn out to be the favorite ones; they cannot be removed without knowing the opinions of users.
- No added value compared to the browser versions of the bank's website: Mobile applications must contain functionalities that are valuable to the client and not be a copy of the browser version.
- Intrusive serving of functionality: Each subsequent notification or unwanted functionality can create additional obstacles in the user experience.
Polish banking is in a demanding but also interesting moment of change. The COVID pandemic increased customer expectations regarding the availability of digital channels and allowed banks to reduce operating costs, including closing branches unprecedentedly. At the same time, digitization equalizes the chances on the market. In the future, the winner will not be the one who has the most branches but the one who best manages the customer experience and will transfer the level of relationship known from offline channels to the digital world, building customer loyalty and commitment.
Exchanging knowledge and experience is extremely important nowadays when banks face challenges resulting from inflation, economic difficulties, and changing legal restrictions, but also those related to the necessity of a quick response to customers' needs and changing behavior.
At LeanCode, we support banks in increasing their technological abilities by delivering knowledge and hybrid teams service. Here you schedule a free consultation with our Expert.
If you want to find out how Flutter technology can boost mobile app development, take a look at the article on how Flutter can shorten Time to Market.