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June 4, 2014

Quarter of leading banks will have mobile apps by 2016, says Gartner

Analyst firm calls for establishment of bank-specific app store within next 18 months.

By Vinod

Banks face a major challenge as they look to adapt to the changing, mobile-focused technology environment, Gartner has warned.

The rise of organisations offering many different kinds of app to deal with separate banking functions (some with over 15-20 seperate apps) has left many customers confused, and may even be contributing to a loss in business, the firm believes.

Instead, banking-only app stores need to be established, where companies can display their apps to customers clearly, without overwhelming users with information.

The analyst firm has said it expects to see about 25 percent of large banks worldwide deploy some kind of banking app store as customers look to manage their money on the go using mobile devices.

It is advising CIOs and CMOs at large banks, as well of line of business heads, to accelerate the production of dedicated app stores in order to make their organisations more appealing to customers.

The need for dedicated banking app stores has grown for two reasons, the firm believes – firstly, that the visibility of customer banking apps in public stores is decreasing due to the total number of apps available; also secondly that visibility of apps on bank websites is decreasing as the number of apps a bank deploys increases.

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This latter issue is often exacerbated by the fact that most bank websites do not make it easy for customers to find their apps. Apps are often listed by LOB, making it difficult for a customer to see all the apps offered by the bank, and even if they are listed in one place, the descriptions are often high-level and vague.

Banks also need to make it easier for customers to discover and download their apps, Gartner says, which could be easily done by introducing dedicated apps or promotions through their existing website or branches.

Gartner expects that as more banks deploy app stores, it will put competitive pressure on those that do not.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that the number of mobile and online payments in the UK had reached its highest level yet as British shoppers increasingly shun the use of cash.

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