Inside the Innovation Gallery Walk

Intuit recently held an Innovation Gallery Walk in New York City, where the company walked the media through hands-on demonstrations of new products and services. Former CNN reporter Bill Tucker takes a look inside:

Mobile’s growth is supersonic—is your strategy up to speed?

By Al Ko, Senior Vice President, Consumer Solutions, Intuit Financial Services

We are entering an era where financial management online via PC is being eclipsed by the “anytime, anywhere” convenience of mobile phones and tablet devices. As technological advancements fuel changing customer expectations, financial services innovation will continue to forever alter existing paradigms of transacting, accessing information and providing customer service. There is no looking back:

  • A recent study from IDC shows that smartphones are outpacing PCs: there were more smartphone shipments than personal computer shipments around the world in the last quarter of 2010.
  • Celent forecasts that the number of mobile banking users in the U.S. will quadruple between 2010 and 2014, reaching 77 million.
  • Javelin Strategy & Research found that one in five consumers had mobile banked within the previous 12 months, and 7 percent of consumers who switched financial institutions did so for mobile banking capabilities.
  • USAA reported that in less than one year, 1.5 million checks and nearly $1 billion were deposited via mobile.

Leading financial institutions are riding this tidal wave: 80 percent of the top 19 have iPhone apps, according to Javelin … and Android is catching up. But it’s not all about apps—consumers in the millions are opting for the speed and simplicity of text-message banking, and the convenience of Web banking on their mobile device’s browser, which is about to get even more powerful with the advent of HTML5.

Tell us how your financial institution is thinking about and forming its mobile strategy and the challenges that you face. What other aspects of mobile banking concern/interest you?

***All participants contributing to this particular blog topic shall be eligible for a chance to win an iPad 2 provided by the Intuit Financial Services Mobile Banking Sweepstakes. Click here to read the official rules. The sweepstakes to win an iPad 2 close on June 2, 2011 at 11:59:59 PM PT. People posting comments received after that time will not be eligible to enter the contest.***

Financial Management Emerges from the Tab

As consumers increasingly look to find ways to budget and manage finances, financial institutions are looking to provide easy access to financial management tools and information. With a recent announcement, Intuit introduced tighter integration between its personal financial management software, FinanceWorks, and financial institutions’ web sites.

In an American Banker article, Celent’s Jacob Jegher noted online banking is moving toward a ‘dashboard’-like experience, that goes beyond a static display of information. The article also profiled Beneficial Mutual Bancorp Inc. of Philadelphia, which has 140,000 online banking customers using the ‘dashboard’-like experience:

“It is very straightforward and transparent, and the ease of use is the most important,” said Denise Kassekert, executive vice president of relationship banking for the $4.7 billion-asset Beneficial.”

Furthermore, Forrester analyst Emmett Higdon supported the shift, noting one of the common features of modern website redesigns is a reduction in the number of clicks that consumers must make for common items like bill payments, viewing statements or setting up alerts.

The article noted that with the tighter integration, Intuit also introduced merchant-funded rewards, presenting a huge opportunity for financial institutions, according to Ron Shevlin of Aite Group LLC. The rewards link consumers’ debit card purchases from merchants with deals and money-saving opportunities.

Are your personal financial management tools hidden behind a tab? How many clicks does it take your customers to navigate through your site? Let us know about your “site-stickiness” in the comments below!

Connecting Online Banking and QuickBooks

Donna Arce at Barlow Research recently examined the opportunity for financial institutions to deepen business customer relationships by making the download of accounting information to solutions like QuickBooks easier and readily available.

Arce writes, “availability of synchronization services (known as Web Connect and Direct Connect) is not widely available in the market. These offerings are mostly found at top banks. However, even among banks offering these services, capitalizing on the potential can be a challenge.”

Arce spoke with Nadilee Russell, senior vice president of business banking solutions at Intuit Financial Services about how banks can better provide these services to their customers.  Tips include awareness and education, and delivering a good first-use experience. One forward-thinking suggestion Russell offers is that banks   deliver even greater value by making access to the most useful business information contained in solutions like QuickBooks available right within the flow of the online banking experience. “Imagine the customer response if a bank could help a business see their profit-loss report and then offer a much-needed line of credit to help them through a lean patch – all within the same session. Relationships are built on relevance and the customer is the one deciding. If a financial institution can’t meet these needs, businesses will go elsewhere.”

Does your institution offer accounting software synchronization services? Let us know in the comments section below.

Video Interview: CeCe Morken, Intuit Financial Services

CeCe Morken, President of Intuit Financial Services, discusses how the banking industry has evolved rapidly over the past decade. She also highlights how regulatory and economic requirements, more non-bank competitors, disruption of the established business model, and a dramatic shift in customer behaviors and mindset will continue to fuel change in the banking industry.


Tis the Season to Be Jolly and Manage Your Finances

According to the National Retail Federation the average consumer will spend $688.87 on holiday-related shopping. With your customers in full swing with their holiday shopping sprees, here are some online banking tips to share with them:

  • Look at your full financial picture to ensure you’re staying in the black — Intuit Financial Services’ October 2010 survey found that 84 percent of U.S. consumers felt the most important aspect of online banking tools is the ability to pay and manage bills and finances all in one place. With everything in one place, consumers have a clear picture of their financial situation which can help them make smarter purchasing decisions.
  • Check the accuracy of your transactions, so when you go from retailer to retailer, you’re not in the red — 57 percent of consumers use online banking tools to check the accuracy of their purchases.
  • If you’re always on the go, take advantage of mobile banking tools.  Close to 20 percent of survey respondents said they’re already using mobile banking applications to track their finances.

Regional Spotlight: The Great Northwest

In addition to mountains, music, video games, coffee, skiing and technology, the Pacific Northwest is home to more than 12 million citizens. Intuit Financial Services third annual online financial management survey found that one-third of people from this tech-savvy region prefer to use online services provided by their bank or credit union to manage their personal finances. What are they doing?

Northwest residents like to track account balances, pay bills/transfer funds, and check the accuracy of banking transactions. They also use online tools to help them stay on budget – see where their money is going, understand how much they can spend and see all their finances and bills in one place.

In fact, more than half of respondents in the Northwest mentioned they would switch to a financial institution that offers online banking tools if their current institution does not currently offer them. Also, the ability to manage and pay all bills in one place reigns supreme for residents, as 89 percent consider taking care of paper checks, credit cards, online bill pay and auto-debits at one place most useful.

When it comes to banking on-the-go, nearly one-quarter either already use mobile banking now or plan to try it in the next year. Those currently utilizing mobile banking use it in parallel to how they use online banking – most view account balances, transfer funds and manage bills using their mobile device.

What tools do you offer your customers? Are you dialed-in to meet their specific needs? Let us know how you help by leaving a comment below.

Welcome to Banking.com

Hello! Thanks for visiting Banking.com. We are making our debut in October 2010 and we’re excited to bring you the latest and greatest information regarding online financial management for financial institutions.

This blog is run by Intuit Financial Services. Banking.com is designed to provide financial institutions access to insights from industry experts as well as resources for tapping into important customer segments. Content on this site comes from industry experts. Some, but not all, are our own experts at Intuit. Check out our post on “Three Customer Segments You’re (Probably) Not Paying Enough Attention To” in “Financial Management Insights” for starters.

We’ll also recognize how banks and credit unions are finding innovative ways to survive and thrive in the current economy, whether it’s goofy giveaways or financial planning classes for your community.

Our goal is to highlight data and trends that help financial institutions provide customers and members with the online financial management tools and tips they need to make smarter financial decisions.

We welcome your comments and insight on Banking.com. If you wish to submit content, please visit the “Contact Us” page to share your ideas.

Happy reading!