Siri-Like Mobile Banking App Usage Expected to Accelerate in the Next 12 Months

Can Smart Phones Be as Helpful as Your Local Branch Teller? Personetics Says Yes and Shares How Banking Customers Are Using Predictive Personal Assistant Technology on Mobile and Web Apps Today.

With Apple’s recent iPhone 5 announcements, people are imagining how they will use the iPhone and other powerful smartphones even more in their daily lives. Personetics, the leading provider of predictive virtu

al assistant solutions for the banking industry understands first-hand how pervasive iPhones have become and shared some compelling information around how banking users are interacting with personal banking data through mobile and Web apps today.

Particularly interesting are the types of queries and number of ways customers are answering their questions and resolving problems themselves, in scenarios that historically resorted to dreaded phone calls navigating IVR menus and long waits to speak to a call center agent.

It’s clear that banking customers are changing the way they want to interact with their financial institutions – from branch tellers to ATMs to the Web, and most recently, mobile applications. Keynote Competitive Research’s 2012 Mobile User Survey found that smartphone users preferred to use mobile apps over mobile websites for banking information, with 56% of mobile phone users now performing banking activities on this channel, while 50% of tablet users do too. Financial institutions are challenged to recreate the high level of service customers are accustomed to at their local branch teller, now on a 4-inch iPhone 5 screen.

That’s where Personetics’ predictive virtual assistant comes in – it turns your ordinary mobile banking app into a friendly, accessible and smart channel that banking customers use to quickly and easily navigate their financial information, resolve problems and explore relevant add-on products and services that fit their profile. Think Siri-like voice interaction, but better, and with predictive capabilities and integration with existing banking systems, so you can fix problems and set up new services at will.

As is often the case in the financial service industry, most of Personetics early-adopter banks are maintaining anonymity. A handful are deploying these solutions across their large customer bases and initial user data gives us an interesting snapshot of how people are using these new tools:

  • In the first several weeks of a deployment, more than a quarter of users typically try new predictive virtual assistants for banking
  • More than 30 percent looked for assistance on specific payments or charges, exploring detailed transactional information
  • More than 10 percent looked at personal spending trends
  • The vast majority resolved problem issues themselves – of those with complaints, less than 5 percent were referred to a live agent
  • 50 percent agreed to accept smart recommendations to join new banking services, such as E-bill, paperless statements and more

Maybe most interesting is how diversified interactions with predictive virtual assistants are – its not just about complaints. People like to check current financial information, past and pending transactions and deposits, spending patterns, as well as support and services.

Not long ago, many customer questions led to the branch or call center, at a cost of up to $10 per call. Predictive self-service mobile banking channels resolve most problem inquiries without human interaction, which represent a major cost savings opportunity. Initial results also suggest that customers are resolving their problems much more quickly – improving overall banking satisfaction.

It is yet to be seen just how much Personetics will save the banking industry, but Javelin Researchestimates $1.4 billion in operational savings alone, if financial institutions can direct at least 51% of online banking customers to seek customer service answers through online banking rather than branches or call centers. This is certainly an easy to understand proposition, and a no-brainer for banks looking to control costs, increase share of wallet and improve the mobile and online customer experience.

It’s not only about cost avoidance however. Of those banks that are using predictive analytics to offer new products and services to customers on mobile channels, they are finding that customers are accepting these smart recommendations half of the time. Add-on banking products and services, like, paperless statements, automatic bill pay, additional credit, new cards, new accounts, investment products and more can reduce operational costs for the bank and generate new revenue.

Mobile banking is clearly evolving and Personetics’ predictive virtual assistant deployment data is a good indicator of how we’ll all be using mobile banking apps much more in the future, and likely for many of us, on the iPhone 5.


Keynote 2012 Mobile User Survey; Keynote Competitive Research (5388 respondents H1 2012)

Redefining Personal Banking In the Era of Predictive, Personal Technology; Javelin Strategy & Research March 2012

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