The Impact of the iPhone 5 on Bank Marketing

*This blog was originally posted on Bank Marketing Strategy by Jim Marous. Jim is the senior vice president of corporate development for the direct and digital agency New Control focused on building strategic solutions for the financial services industry. You can follow him on Twitter @JimMarous or connect on LinkedIn.

So, the anticipation is over and the newest version of the iPhone has been introduced. When all was said and done, there were few surprises left as to what the iPhone 5 would offer, and for those of us who were crossing our fingers for the possibility of NFC integration (and further payments disruption), there may have even been a bit of disappointment.
And while additional enhancements to the Passbook app provides a glimpse into the potential for a head on competition with Google Wallet for payments supremacy in the future, the shop-with-your-phone coupon capability is not applicable to most bank marketers. What should be of more importance to bank marketers is the additional marketing real estate provided with the new phone and the growth in sales that may be on the horizon.

Bank marketers should see promise with the iPhone 5′s larger, 4-inch screen with Retina display which provides 18% more pixels for delivering enhanced mobile ads, banners, landing pages and interactive campaigns. While the extra pixels may not seem like much, it moves the iPhone experience closer to that of the iPad, which has already proven itself to be a major tool for consumer consumption. And for those who are still tablet-less, it is possible that this new device will a bridge for engaged behavior.

According to Rachel Pasqua, vice president of mobile at digital agency iCrossing, “the enlarged iPhone is enough to make mobile creative a little more eye catching and get more users more deeply engaged.” She mentioned that there will also be less potential for mis-clicks leading to better potential interaction. The potential for greater speed through the LTE and the new iOS6 also will help.

Charles Golvin from Forrester Research noted in a recent post that while other competitors already offer a larger canvas in some cases, “Apple still outpaces the competition when it comes to the entire package — the new iPhone unites significant improvements in industrial design, imaging, audio and connectivity, along with the wealth of new capabilities that iOS6 enables.”

The key for bank marketers is that iPhone 5 users, and smartphone users overall, will be spending more time with content on their phone. It is therefore important to provide the level of content that optimizes both the customer experience and marketing potential of the new devices. Consumers are no longer content with static web pages and difficult to use links and landing pages. Content (web pages, banners, ads, landing pages, etc.) will need to be easier to interact with and be more dynamic.

There is no way of knowing how popular the new iPhone 5 will be in the marketplace, but if the past is any indication of the future, not only will many current iPhone users upgrade to the new model, but the overall iPhone penetration will increase as well. As shown below, nearly 2 in 5 of the 38.2 million Americans using iPhones are on the iPhone 4, which was released just 2 years ago. More impressive than that is the fact that 35% of iPhone users today are on the iPhone 4S, which was introduced less than 12 months ago.

Just as with the tablet, bank marketers should realize that simply ‘super sizing’ a current app or website is no longer enough from the customer’s perspective. It is important to leverage the tools and advancements that are available with the newest generation of phones.

And even though our industry does not have products that are as visually appealing as in retail and other industries, the challenge to differentiate our offerings may be greater, but the opportunity is still significant.

The Next Frontier: Mobile Money

By Eric Dunn, Senior Vice President, Payments Initiatives, Intuit

The adoption of smartphone-based mobile banking is one of the fastest trends in digital banking. While today’s smartphone applications, for the most part, mirror the functionality of bank websites with balances, transfers and bill pay, a new frontier is opening with the proliferation of mobile wallets and payment solutions. Already, hundreds of thousands of retail point-of-sale terminals support near field communications (NFC) protocols such as PayPass (MasterCard) and PayWave (Visa). Industry forecasts for smartphones suggest that at least 50 percent of new smartphones will be NFC-capable within 18 months.

As the new frontier of smartphone-based mobile payments is unfolding, there is uncertainty for financial institutions.  How will banks and credit unions participate?  Some industry players — PayPal, Google, the wireless carriers and others – are designing mobile payments ecosytems in a way that could reduce the role of banks.

As a business partner to many financial institutions, Intuit wants to share some of our newest thinking about the mobile payments landscape, and in particular how banks and credit unions can preserve or expand their role in payments during the evolution to digital and mobile. Specifically, Intuit has been working closely with terminal manufacturers and others in the mobile payments ecosystem to develop a working prototype of an NFC-based payment solution that is complementary to smartphone-based mobile banking.

What’s on your mind about mobile payments?  Is this a payment option your financial institution is interested in offering? To join the conversation visit In:Volve.

Beyond the swipe: Intuit GoPayment brings NFC innovation to life

Intuit is giving attendees at this week’s Google I/O conference a taste of the future –and that future involves making payments by simply bumping two smartphones together.

Intuit’s Payment Solutions division has developed a concept demo that reimagines its GoPayment mobile credit card processing application using near field communications, or NFC. The company is showcasing the demo at the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco today and tomorrow.

“With GoPayment we are exploring every avenue for innovation that best meets our customers’ needs, and this includes technologies such as NFC that are still in the early stages of adoption,” said Chris Hylen, vice president and general manager of Intuit’s Payment Solutions division. “Innovation is happening rapidly in the mobile payment space, and we want to be ready to help the millions of small businesses and consumers we serve benefit from the latest technology.”

Built on Google’s Android mobile platform and using NFC technology with Nexus S by Google, Intuit has transformed its existing GoPayment mobile credit card processing application into one that transfers credit card data via radio waves, eliminating the need for the actual card or any add-on card reader hardware. Using emerging mobile technology such as NFC, small businesses and their customers may one day be able to conduct daily tasks on their mobile devices — including paying and getting paid — faster, easier and more securely. All they will need is their mobile device and nothing else. Check out this video to see it in action:

*originally posted on the Intuit Network

About John Parkin

John Parkin works on Intuit’s employee communications team, managing content on the intranet and finding cool stories to tell to employees.