The Bank of America launched mobile banking in 2007 in order for its customers to access the bank using their mobile applications and through mobile phone’s web browsers. The bank was, after the introduction of mobile banking, able to reach its customers through short massages and share important information that regards the customers’ attentions using SMS systems, short message systems as well as other mobile capabilities. The bank’s broadening reach to most of its customers using these devices was a critical initiative by Jen McDonald, the head of the Bank of America and senior vice president of Mobile Product Development, Douglas Brown to strengthen the Bank’s mobile strategies (King, 2010 p 52 -76). Shortly after its introduction, the mobile banking initiative that started as the bank strategy to reach majority of its customers became a critical business tool event to the bank’s line -of -business firms.
The strategy therefore proved to be an important competitive weapon that differentiated the competitive platform in the American banking industry. However, mobile banking strategy carries with itself numerous risks and problems upon its implementations into the banking systems. This paper sought to examine and analyze the problem associated with the mobile banking strategy and consider the alternative solutions to the problems. In addition, the study looked into the optimal solutions for these problems and the expected outcomes of the optimal solutions.
Problem Specification and objective
The mobile banking strategy was by the time a strategic industrial marketing inversion and as soon as the bank of America made clear indication of introducing the strategy into their system, many business partners were on high alert to collaborate with the bank and leverage the mobile platform in order to build into the mobile functionalities for their specific businesses. The result of the mobile banking strategy was great since millions of customers became actively using the mobile apps to access bank’s services. However, in 2009, the U.S. financial and banking industries suffered from the collapse of the U.S. real estate and subprime mortgage market that caused the 2008-2009 financial crises in the United States. The crises froze credit affected many customers. The bank of America being among the largest retail banks suffered huge losses as well. The problem was therefore how to use the mobile banking strategy to regain back the consumers’ confidence. Compared to other banking channels, mobile banking was still relatively small despite its increasing interest. Many customers cited limited value of mobile banking, security concerns and cost of data access as the main reasons for not using the mobile banking system.
Mobile banking strategy became among the critical objective for the banking industry to bring back the industrial confidence among its customers. When Brian Moynihan, the head of consumers and small business banking took over as the CEO in 2010, the main objective of solving the financial problems of the bank had critical foundations on the mobile banking strategy and online marketing.
Pros and cons of the Alternative solution
Mobile banking presented other alternative options for banking in addition to mobile apps, for instance mobile internet and mobile messaging. Mobile messaging enabled customers to check through their account balances and receive the account activity alerts through their cell phones.
- Able to work across all wireless operators and reach many customers with cell phones
- Requires no software applications in order to be operative
Cons: The messaging system only allows for very limited characters, 140-160 per message thereby limited the scope of information intended to reach the customer.
Mobile internet worked through a wireless protocol and directly connected customers to the bank’s online website. This service however required users to have a data plan in order to access the service. The service also requires high speed on the mobile devices hence was less appealing for many users.
The optimal solution was to adopt the mobile applications technology that enabled the bank to provide a wider experience of the users through applications. The emergence of the smartphones, with optimized interface created an extensive engagement with the users. The users could use these apps to locate bank branches and ATMs through GPS. The growth of smartphones by 2012 was very significant for this strategy as the mobile banking system grew significantly.
The adoption of mobile internet as the basis of mobile banking required a systematic process, whereby customers were required to register for online banking and therefore sign for mobile banking. The 2009 survey found out that only 40% of the bank’s customers used online banking. Approximately 1 % of the customers preferred online banking to other channels of banking (King, 2012 p35). The implementation of the strategy is a time process before it becomes effective. Customers took time to understand the advantages of mobile banking before they could use it. Other than time, mobile devices with updated applications were necessary for the implementation of the strategy. The growth of smartphones like iPads, blackberry etc within the last few years was very important.
With the advancing technology and competitiveness among firms through efficient deliveries of services, there are high expectations from mobile banking. Local mobile payments, mobile commerce, and person-to-person payments will highly improve. The digital marketing will also improve massively and extend to other users. There is high expectation that the annual outcome of the mobile transactions are expected to increase from 180 million in 2008 to 2.4 billion by 2014.
Business Knowledge for It in Global Retail Banking: The Complete Handbook for It Professionals. London: Essvale Corporation, 2011. P 23-47.Print.
King, Brett. Bank 2.0: How Customer Behaviour and Technology Will Change the Future of Financial Services. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Business, 2010. Print.
King, Brett. Bank 3.0: Why Banking Is No Longer Somewhere You Go but Something You Do. New York: Wiley, 2012. P 35. Internet resource.
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