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Wealth managers slow to adopt mobile apps


New research by MyPrivateBanking Research has found that only half of the world’s 30 most important banks and wealth managers offer mobile applications for their clients. And of those, only three providers (10%) go beyond applications related to online banking.


Only 15 banks (50%) out of a total of 30 offered mobile applications at all. No more than six banks (20%) could come up with mobile apps that included functionality that was not available on their own websites. A mere three banks offer applications that go beyond pure online banking or account checking functionality and provided features such as smart, location based services. None of the banks offer a comprehensive mobile application with real time access to the client´s portfolio, financial research and specific mobile functionalities such as financial planning tools with the capability of being personalised by the client. The best mobile app identified by MyPrivateBanking comes from Standard Chartered Singapore, which offers a wide range of services, from the standard location service of the nearest branch/ATM, with location based maps, to viewing account and credit cards details, to transferring funds and paying bills with an electronic check.

MyPrivateBanking views the slow adoption by banks of the opportunities of the mobile technologies as a consequence of their general reluctance to embrace new technologies and client interfaces, which to a similar extent characterises their website and social media offerings.

“Too many banks miss out on mobile technology to serve their clients, be it out of ignorance, misjudgement or slow internal decision-making and execution processes,” says Christian Nolterieke, Research Director of MyPrivateBanking. “Meanwhile other providers do reach users with their financial applications and push the banks aside, particularly in respect to real-time information and relevant research”.

Steffen Binder, Research Director of MyPrivateBanking, says: “Banks could become one of the information hubs for their clients in the mobile world if they overcame this narrow view of new technologies. With offerings that not only included personalised information for their clients but also social networking and financial planning tools.”

MyPrivateBanking recommends that all banks and wealth manager offer easy-to-use and safe online-banking applications as soon as possible and then build around them a mobile information hub with all the data and features of interest to the client. In this way they can distinguish themselves from the competition, gain more information about client needs and deepen their relationship beyond purely transactional business.

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