The Bold War

Fine Dining, Lunch and Snacking

How times have changed… in little over 3 years mobile banking has stepped out of the shadow of online, telephone and branch banking to rightfully become the heir apparent to the channel distribution throne.  2014 will mark a watershed year for most banks, as mobile becomes the primary customer touch point for the industry.  So does the ‘snacking, lunch and fine dining’ strategy still hold true?

A few years ago Fiserv produced an excellent report on banking distribution trends with a striking manifesto. The report summarised the shifts in channel consumption as ‘snacking, lunch and fine dining’.  It was an analogy for the usage patterns of mobile, online and branch banking.  It was cute, catchy and accurate.  At the time mobile was perceived as a channel that would augment online and branch banking.  It was something you would do in between, on the go and in short bursts. 

The landscape has moved on so much that Fiserv may have to switch their view around.  One could easily argue that it is now fine dining, lunch and snacking.  People pop into a (now empty) branch every now and again to withdraw a large amount of cash or to deposit a cheque.  Online banking is still relatively popular but runs the risk of being overrun by tablet.  Mobile banking is now fine dining.  It offers the full complement of services in the most accessible and convenient manner.  It also has the opportunity to become the main way customers communicate and receive communications from the bank – a very important point as physical interactions dissolve.

For a long time, mobile banking aficionados proclaimed that the channel was limitless.  And unlike the average Bradley Cooper movie of the same name, banks were on to a winner.  Any banking transaction or interaction could be conducted on mobile and would be done on mobile.  A smaller screen is and never was a viable reason for people to not adopt mobile banking.  How right they were…

Slowly even the doubters have turned the corner.  The first watershed moment was logins.  The sheer volume of mobile interaction, even in the early days, was astonishing.  You couldn’t argue with the numbers.  Then it was payments.  No hurdles there.  Now it’s product sales, next it’s offers.  Mobile banking has been able to ride the wave behind growing smartphone penetration, increased network speeds, and improving mobile design.

It has been a remarkable rise for mobile banking and with continued transaction migration its growth continues unabated.  Even though consumers will continue to consume financial services like they eat: by snacking, lunching, and fine dining, the channels they do each in has changed.  So don’t be surprised if you see the likes of Ferran Adrià and Heston Blumenthal being hired into senior banking roles.  Mobile banking is here to stay and fine dining is where it will reign…

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