Consumers are now used to receiving alerts on their mobiles as soon as there is activity on their account. Retail banks have taken advantage of the proliferation of mobile devices to encourage branchless banking. This not only reduces cost while increasing efficiency, but is also gaining acceptance as a secure way to bank.
The ubiquitous nature of mobile use in retail banking has not been reflected in corporate transaction banking. But the reach of mobile banking in the retail world is spurring the demand for similar services in the corporate world. Advances in the development of devices (smart phones, tablets, etc.), network bandwidth (3G/4G) and applications are catering for mobile banking requirements in the corporate space. The ‘office in your pocket’ is possible with mobile web access, IP telephony, video-conferencing, and more, now available for managers on the go.
On the burner
Corporates with complex relationships (multiple banking partners and a geographically diverse supply chain with independent processes) are making the task of going mobile in the corporate world difficult. Another challenge is the varying capability (read speed) of infrastructure. A lack of standardisation and disparate development in new technology is also making interoperability tricky. This has resulted in slow provision (by the banks) and adoption (by the corporates) of mobile corporate banking services.
You are served
First mover advantage will be reaped by financial institutions (FIs) that are well positioned as market leaders in the mobile banking business cycle. There is a growing interest for these services not only from large multi-national corporates, but also from small and medium enterprises in the emerging markets. Corporates are looking to FIs to help them harness technological advances to achieve cost reduction and greater efficiency. The ability to offer mobile corporate banking services 24/7 will not only help FIs increase revenue from non-balance sheet intensive activities, but will also increase customer stickiness and foster long-term loyalty.