The need to bring the population into the digital economy through online or mobile banking solutions is paramount to delivering growth over generations to come, as rightly captured in Mastercard Economics Institute’s Economy 2021 report.
In that report, brick-and-mortar business creation is expected to decline further in 2021 in favour of online business creation and the adoption of initiatives that connect a merchant’s sales data with access to capital, for instance.
This reminds us of the world we live in now – a digitally-operated, sophisticated and virtual world.
Welcome to the digital-first world. In Nigeria, the telephony subscriptions reached 208 million with 154.9 million internet subscribers.
These numbers, mostly young people, are harnessing the power of digital mobile devices to do everything from communicating with others and checking social media status to streaming videos and even running a business!
Not too long ago, when an individual wanted to save or invest money, they were limited to a handful of options. In the early days of our ancestors, farming and land underpinned wealth and a bank account was considered a luxury.
Nowadays, technology sets the pace.
Mobile applications are powerhouse technologies that give us the advantage of performing virtually all the same actions that we would on a desktop computer, on-the-go.
Yes, the app economy that emerged following 4G deployment profoundly changed the conditions for business across both B2B and B2C markets and led to the formation of new enterprise powerhouses across e-commerce, mobile video, social media and banking.
Thus, banks and other financial institutions everywhere are going mobile. Nearly all banks have jumped on the mobile app bandwagon.
The only reason why banks hold leading positions in the market is that they have a well-designed, user-friendly banking mobile app that customers love. The idea that walking into a bank to handle specific needs, like depositing checks, transferring funds, checking balances, transacting on your pension funds etc., has become almost obsolete.
With a mobile banking app, customers can do all of these things, and so much more, directly from their smartphone. It doesn’t get more convenient than that!
In this article, we’ll discuss nine must-have features to have a successful banking app while focusing on Stanbic IBTC mobile banking ‘Supper App’ #APPyness 2.0 which featured among the Five Best Nigerian Mobile Banking Apps in 2020.
First, what is new in the #APPyness 2.0?
- Biometrics Optimization for logins
- Request debit card
- Hotlist card
- Retrieve debit card Pin
- Purchase airtime for device contact
- Bug fixes
How does the app measure in the ‘Must-have features for a successful banking app’?
Let’s dive right in:
1. Bank account management
This is a no-brainer. The primary reason a bank customer would download the mobile app is to manage their bank account information directly from their mobile device. At least, the journey starts from there!
By featuring bank account management capabilities, users can monitor their credit/debit cards and bank accounts, check balances, view transaction histories, and transfer funds from anywhere at any time.
If you use the upgraded version of Stanbic IBTC mobile banking app dubbed “Super App”, you will notice it has six modules which are: My Bank, @easewallet, Pensions, Insurance, Mutual Funds and Stocks.
Apart from being able to seamlessly transact business with ‘My Bank’ and @easewallet, customers are also able to subscribe to and withdraw from, mutual funds, apply for insurance policies as well as manage their stockbroking and pensions accounts, regardless of having a functional Stanbic IBTC Bank account.
The Super App offers quick log-in capability with facial and fingerprint biometric options, strong customer data protection and voice banking features. It also contains features such as bills payment and funds transfer.
What We Think: Yes, the Stanbic Mobile Banking App a.k.a #APPyness 2.0 has improved. Some users are graving for more ‘Open Transaction’ model as an improved UI. For instance, some users would like to see details on Transaction History. There is no such thing as one-style-fits-all in app development, but the environment most times impact the psych of your work.
But, we understand the Bank has reasons for the special ‘Hide Account Balance’ feature present on the My Bank module of the Super App. It is meant to provide account details privacy for customers to hide their financial balance, especially when in public or insecure environments.
From our review, interviews and vox pop, many users like the app, but they want to view in the Transaction Details the ‘amount sent’, ‘name of recipient’, ‘bank name’ (receiving bank).
Others need help! Like implementing ‘goal settings’ so one can work towards accomplishing a savings goal directly from the source of all of their financial information.
More so, this implies a feature in the app that allows users to set the desired amount that they wish to save at a designated time in which they want to save it. This feature will be slightly different from Pension, Insurance and Mutual Funds. Call it a Piggy Account, you are not mistaking. That would be an excellent feature Stanbic IBTC Bank can integrate within mobile banking app to enable users developing savings culture.
2. Advanced security and fraud alert settings
Like someone said, ‘you can never be too careful these days with IT security’. In mobile banking applications, two major things are involved: Money and Data. These sensitive ‘material’ require absolute best protection against hackers and cyber theft.
To have a successful banking app in 2021, you must first ensure that the app has secure sign-in functionality. You want to make it so that there are specific steps involved in signing in to a user’s online banking account without making it cumbersome or adding too many steps that could irritate users.
There’s a fine line between being cautious and being paranoid. A successful banking app ensures that the sign-in process is fast and easy while also being secure, providing peace of mind for the user.
For instance, multi-factor authentication is a very secure technology; however, it’s also quite time-consuming. This feature isn’t the best idea for banking app implementation since anything that’s super time-consuming is never pleasing to the user.
What We Think: The Stanbic IBTC Mobile Banking development team have done a very good job. The app was developed in such a way that it is difficult for someone else to use it.
How? You can’t even use it on another one. For instance, you were using Itel smartphone and decided to migrate your apps to Tecno or Infinix or vice versa; what comes to mind is to use Xender to transfer your apps to the new phone. For this very banking app, you can’t activate it unless someone at the bank ‘unlinks the previous phone.
This is a general idea especially among mobile banking apps developers, nevertheless, Stanbic IBTC Bank has extended its digital security alertness to a point. The regular emails sent to the app users is a critical step to safeguard against fraud.
Although you can request ‘unlink’ directly from the app too, you would need to submit some details to confirm originality.
You can also freeze your account or block a transaction straight from the app. Isn’t that beautiful!
The app also contains fingerprint biometric log-in. With improved anti-fraud technology and strong data privacy features, the Super App detects real-time mobile device threats and sends an alert in the case of suspected device tampering.
So, you can be rest assured that there is an army behind-the-scenes protecting your finances.
3. CORE banking features in the mobile app
CORE Banking (CB) should be at the CORE of any mobile banking app. CB or centralized online real-time exchange banking is a back-end system that processes transactions and posts updates almost immediately.
Aside from providing you with specialized retail banking, wholesale banking, or securities trading opportunities, CORE banking software is service-oriented and enable banks to offer: New account enrollment and existing account management; Deposits and withdrawals; Loan management; Interest rate calculation; Customer relationship management (CRM); Introductions to new financial products and record maintenance.
What We Think: In case you uninstalled the Stanbic IBTC Bank mobile banking app, it is time to revisit the app store. Why? The ‘Super App’ has been redesigned to offer you a banking experience far richer than its other mobile app counterparts. The convenience, speed, and versatility of the App promise to take smart banking to a whole new level.
Super App is driven by a voice assistant or chatbot to give you a “voice and tap” banking experience that is “as quick as you speak”. With this voice control feature, you can access your app and complete tasks without touching your phone. This means convenient and quick access to your bank while driving, multitasking, or when you simply can’t reach for your phone.
As we pointed out earlier, the Super App is designed to be an all-rounder for financial needs in Nigeria, integrating the most basic banking features with advanced investments, pension, and insurance solutions under six app functions:
- MY BANK – Perform basic transactions and access instant loans
- @ease WALLET – Pay bills, buy airtime and make cardless withdrawals with your electronic wallet
- MUTUAL FUNDS – Make investments and manage funds in your mutual fund account
- PENSIONS – Make enquiries, view balance and request e-statement for your retirement savings
- INSURANCE – Initiate claims, request motor insurance certificate and view history
- STOCKS – Trade and monitor your stocks in real-time
The Super App a.k.a #APPyness 2.0 is fully optimised for self-service so you can complete end-to-end processes like setting up your mobile banking profile, resetting or changing your password without having to visit a bank.
4. QR code payment option
QR code payment solutions are easy-to-use, super convenient, and provide additional security that customers love.
QR codes are becoming more popular amongst mobile apps. It simply enables users to scan a code on a barcode reader to make purchases quickly and contact-free.
Now, leading banks are joining in on the QR code craze by implementing QR code scanning technology into their applications.
Interestingly, using paycode on the @easewallet, Stanbic IBTC Bank customers can withdraw cash from their accounts using an ATM or from any agent without a credit or debit card. Paycode can be securely and conveniently generated using the registered phone number. You can also get an instant Debit Card and link it to your wallet.
What We Think: The Super App needs rejigging to provide more QR code payment options because it presents an alternative route for the bank to expand the customers’ mobile payment gateway.
5. Mobile check deposits
The mobile payments market was valued at USD 1449.56 billion in 2020 and expected to reach USD 5399.6 billion by 2026 and grow at a CAGR of 24.5% over the forecast period (2021 – 2026), according to mordorintelligence.com report.
That tells you how customers everywhere are increasingly becoming more and more comfortable with using it mobile check deposits on their banking apps.
The stores and services across the world are rapidly adopting and integrating mobile payment applications, such as PayPal, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, AliPay, and WeChat Pay, to accept payments. Owing to changing lifestyle, daily commerce, and rapid growth in online retailing, this trend is expected to continue over for subsequent many years.
Mobile check deposit, also known as remote deposit capture, is becoming one of the most sought-after mobile banking features because customers love the convenience of the mobile check deposit feature. Even those that aren’t very tech-savvy find the feature to be relatively easy-to-use even by their standards.
Feedback: #APPyness 3.0 should incorporate it.
6. Peer-to-peer payment gateway
Peer to peer payments, or P2P payments transactions that can be used for anything from splitting a bill between friends to paying your rent. These payments allow the transfer of funds between two parties using their banking accounts or credit cards through an online or mobile app.
With Super App, you can recharge the airtime of a contact. That’s at the basic level of P2P. But at least the app supports it.
What We Think: FinTech companies rated as third-party vendors provide this kind of service, but using a banking app is far more convenient. The banking app requires the user’s ID number, and the bank oversees the transfer of funds.
Furthermore, unlike many FinTech solutions, Stanbic IBTC Bank can leverage this feature as value-addition to customers who are not charged an additional fee for the transfers.
7. Bill payments made easy
There are so many great benefits to using #APPyness 2.0 when it comes to paying your bills.
The provides the convenience of paying bills from anywhere at any time straight from the user’s smartphone. However, the app developers should think of the possibility to set up automatic bill-pay features as a user I never miss a payment.
This sort of feature is what you have when mobile network operators as you to enable ‘auto-renewal’ of your data or VAS.
The advanced stage is making it possible to schedule one-time or recurring payments, along with setting up customized email or text alerts to notify an account holder (using the app) whenever they’re alerted that their bill is due.
For things like Mutual Funds and Insurance with fixed instalments, setting up recurring payments is the best way to go. The funds will automatically withdraw from the user’s account when the bills are due, so they never need to worry about missing a payment! It depends on settings anyway.
What We Think: Users want a banking app that offers that unique or better experience of monitoring their bank account information on-the-go, without ever having to walk into a bank to access their funds.
8. AI-driven mobile Banking app (Chatbots)
By programming a smart AI chatbot feature into your banking app, you’ll provide 24/7 support to your customers, increasing your chances for success and customer satisfaction.
We are proud of the Super App ‘Voice’ feature. You would love it. The AI-driven Super App voice assistant gives a “voice and tap” banking experience that is “as quick as you speak”. With this voice control feature, you can access your app and complete tasks without touching your phone.
What We Think: It’s such a super convenient and quick means to access one’s bank while multi-tasking, or when you simply can’t reach for your phone. We don’t encourage you to use the app while driving. But on the occasion, you need to top-up gas at the station, and you chose to speak to your app… why not!
9. ATM Locator
On Google Play Store, there are many options with regards to Automated Teller Machine (ATM) locator. Well, there is this pride that your bank offers you an opportunity to locate an ATM, especially bank-specific ATMs; that is, nearest Stanbic IBTC Bank ATM.
The feature may appear somewhat a super basic feature to implement within your banking app. However basic it may be, it’s crucial.
When customers need to find an ATM nearest them, they should be able to count on your banking app to locate it.
Most mobile banking apps incorporate this feature, not because everyone is doing it, but because customers demand it.
So, in modern time you are free to get creative with your banking app. Nonetheless, you should remember to include the ATM locator feature.
Through constant innovation and reinvention, customer-centric financial institution, Stanbic IBTC continues to use digitisation to simplify banking and transform the customer experience. The recently released #APPyness 2.0 credited as The Super App is not a finished work, but it rates high as a banking app with great features. #APPyness 2.0 . The organisation ushered customers into a world of endless possibilities with the upgraded mobile app. And we believe that with little touched on the User Interface (UI) you have a banking app with convenience, speed, simplicity and versatility.
Existing Stanbic IBTC customers with their internet banking login credentials can register with the same on the Super App while non-internet banking users can use their debit card details to register.