Mobile apps quickly becoming financial services’ biggest asset

Trust in the financial sector – or lack thereof – is a big issue for one of the world’s most vital sectors. Seventy percent of Americans agree with the statement, “most people on Wall Street would be willing to break the law if they believed they could make a lot of money and get away with it.”

Fifty-two percent of Americans with smartphones and bank accounts use mobile banking and finance apps to check balances, complete transactions, and explore service or product options. The financial services industry can leverage the rise of mobile to improve their client interactions and build loyalty.

In a recent Accenture study, 81 percent of business leaders surveyed state that apps are integral to their organization and 85 percent believe that they will be a dominant interface of the future. Mobile apps can help financial services increase productivity and improve the client experience – great assets for an industry battling shifting perspectives.

Unlock your existing content

Financial services organizations coordinate and manage incalculable pieces of information. It can be incredibly time consuming to integrate materials into a complete digital experience without a platform for seamless content distribution. A company can shorten the burden of rollout and compliance and move the company into the future by integrating into a single content management system that spans all digital platforms. An entire marketing portfolio can feed the multiple access points of users with customized, relevant and timely experiences via web, smartphone or tablet.

Static messaging is now replaced with interactive engagement and valuable digital features. Utilizing push notifications brings a user into the app more often – a vital component of retention. Messages let clients know the bank or investment company is ahead of their needs. Deep links within an app take users directly to the right web based content. Immediate access to contacting financial advisors or customer care connects a company to the client in a powerful relationship.

Access, convenience and layers of functionality all work together. The many features that are available through multi-layered apps help clients feel constantly connected to one of the most important aspects of life – their money.

The benefits apply internally, too. Sales meetings become interactive with the addition of photo and video to bring products and possibilities to life. Proven and tested sales templates are accessible to every person in the field. Streamlined enrollment and sales procedures increase efficiency and productivity. Captured customer data is more secure and everything from new product and service releases to crisis management can be in the right people’s hands, quickly.

The days of bankers hours are over. The days of hiding behind counters are over. Clients want access. The entire gamut of digital possibilities can be utilized to influence and strengthen client/banker and client/advisor relations 24/7.

Build and leverage for success

When a solution leverages existing in-house talent production time shortens from months down to weeks. When digital is controlled in house, the house wins. Let’s take a look at some real-world examples from financial services companies.

Insurance company Pacific Life found that the non-linear conversations between clients and advisors were better supported through visual navigation done within a custom app versus multiple brochures and an extensive paper trail. No matter where the client wanted to go with their financial conversation, the app made it easy for the advisor to respond and inform and served as an efficient marketing tool that empowered team members throughout consultation.

Utilizing an app for sales meetings helped steer conversation and drive sales with interesting product and service descriptions that utilized image, video, and direct enrollment. Pacific Life has had so much success with the app they have continued to invest in apps directed by internal sales and marketing teams.

Investment management firm Lord Abbett provides timely economic updates and investment insights through its app, Lord Abbett Perspectives. Moving control in house accelerated production time by an astounding 50 percent. Lord Abbett can now update monthly instead of quarterly, allowing employees to engage with customers more often, drawing stronger connections and deeper loyalty.

Educating customers and increasing sales can both be part of a cross-platform campaign that is fully integrated and optimized to produce results. Proven, trusted methods of investment, retirement and wealth management carry even more legitimacy for a company willing to differentiate itself in the field and provide a more customized experience. Accomplishing this with a seamless cross-platform solution means prototyping faster, updating more often, receiving insights more quickly, and adapting on a dime.

Trust in the future

Using digital extends the value of the content available and creates a stronger connection both to clients and employees. And let’s face it, that’s exactly what everyone wants. Information, access and transparency through an app is the ideal platform for financial companies that want a piece of the future.

(This was originally published by Mobile Payments Today. View the post here.)