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7 minutes read

Banks that are Leveraging Mobile to Connect and Sell to Consumers

By Robert Kazmi
By Robert Kazmi
7 minutes read

Banks, credit unions and other financial institutions are increasing their focus on mobile banking as a marketing tool to connect and sell to consumers… and some of them are ahead of the game.

Nowadays, one of the top services promoted by financial institutions like banks and credit unions is mobile banking. Various researches are being conducted on a regular basis to explore awareness patterns on mobile banking.

eMarketer is one such company that’s observed ways that financial marketers promote mobile services. Banks usually choose to depend on their own media sources when it comes to advertising mobile banking. These sources include social media channels, corporate websites, inside the online banking firewall, etc. And out of these options, the most favored and most heavily used are their own branch websites. The primary reason for this is that CMOs mostly advertise their mobile banking tools to their existing consumers.

This information was confirmed by the head of the digital area at Chase, Gavin Michael; according to him, their bank uses its website, in-branch advertising and a variety of company-owned social media properties to increase adoption of their mobile services.

Marc Warshawsky, in charge of mobile solutions at Bank of America, employed similar tactics by combining traditional and digital advertising methods.

eMarketer also looked into Bank of the West’s traditional advertising agency; they went a little further and created an integrated campaign, featuring TV marketing, online marketing, and ATM screen advertising. They also incorporated interstitials, intercept ads promoting mobile banking. The ad appears as the customer is logging out of the bank’s online banking platform. In addition, Bank of the West created a separate tablet app for branch staff. The purpose was to simplify the process of walking new customers through the mobile banking experience.

Maxymiser research found that U.S. consumers tend to trust and click on adverts that are displayed on the web or mobile site of their financial institution. The chance that the customer will click on the promotional content is even higher if it is specially targeted and relevant to their requirements. 25% of the users, that is 1 in every 4 said that it was “very likely” for them to engage with the promos offered through a company’s website. It was “likely” for 28% to click on such ads and just 5% stated that they would “never” trust or click offers available on the website.

Sales experience of mobile bank users around the world

Various financial institutions take a different approach to their primary interaction with mobile-based consumers. Mapa conducted a research which showed that organizations tend to provide a mobile optimized or responsive website experience. One third take a servicing approach, another third have their focus on offering products and apps, and are more sales driven. The last third develop a mixed approach with their servicing and sales.

The common thing for them is that they usually follow the same path when it comes to landing pages.. the humdrum standard online banking templates. They promote services that include credit cards, personal loans and checking accounts. Some large banks in Australia, like Commonwealth Bank, ANZ and Westpac are but few exceptions; they provide mobile applications for checking accounts.

Here are examples of how some financial organizations failed to capitalize on the opportunity of increasing sales through a mobile banking app. Instead, they chose to stick to the basics.

On the other side, Postbank tried to include some interactive content to help users find the right products by providing a link to an account finder tool on the landing page; this is achieved through some basic questions, used to determine the best account package available.

The various ways of marketing through mobile

The majority of financial marketers are more oriented on engaging new customers into mobile solutions offered by their institution. This is good, but there’s another part to marketing in terms of mobile devices that are not given nearly enough credit. Mobile channels can also be used to market other services and products available at a company. Currently, credit unions and banks do not pay enough attention to it. But the truth they are avoiding is, that it can be a very profitable venture to get into. Overall revenue would likely climb as a result. That’s what research is showing.

According to xAd/Telmetrics research, it is time that financial institutions go beyond the traditional service-oriented strategy regarding their mobile apps. xAd/Telemetrics studied all age groups and showed that no matter age range, the majority of tablet and smartphone users in the U.S. have come across and clicked on ads for banking services at least once.

eMarketer has said that the number of financial institutions that try to make the most out of such opportunities is currently rather small… but it is consistently growing. The main focus of those banks is to use their mobile web and app features to improve their marketing functions, especially up-selling and cross-selling.

Thelton McMillian, CEO of strategy and design agency, Comrade, thinks that “My New Home”, a new Chase app, is a great example of how banks can use a mobile tool to drive up customer acquisition. As for his company, it has cooperated with different banks and credit unions on projects for digital and mobile banking experiences.

In an interview with eMarketer, McMillian said, “The app blends a lot of rich data about the housing market and neighborhoods — a lot of the things that you’d get from Redfin or Trulia — into a really simple app to download when looking for a house. Using the app is like a conversation with a mortgage banker at the bank.”

Meghan Gound, AVP/eChannels at Navy FCU, helped to optimize the credit union’s mobile banking app by integrating the ability to cross-sell together with another mobile credit card app. “We’ve got a great wizard on our iPad that provides all the features that each of the various cards offers …users can go through, apply and get the card they want via mobile devices,” says Gound.

Mark Sheehan, the executive vice president of payments and channels at Huntington Bank, pulled all of these ideas together nicely when he said, “Customer acquisition on a mobile platform is not a question of ‘if,’ it’s a question of ‘when.’”

The use of interactive content to assist in finding the right product is rare. On the other side, Postbank tried to include some interactive content to help users find the right products by providing a link to an account finder tool on the landing page; this is achieved through some basic questions that are used to determine the best account package.


The message is clear: The time to take advantage of mobile banking is now. More and more banks are leveraging mobile to connect and sell to consumers, and those that aren’t adapting the strategies are starting to fall behind.

How is your company taking advantage of mobile banking? How can you leverage the growth in this mobile app category?

Have you adapted your strategies – what have you found that works or doesn’t work?

Tweet this out or shoot us an email at [email protected] and let us know!

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