The smartphone revolution long ago forced most, if not all, banks and other financial institutions (FIs) to begin offering mobile financial management solutions.
Now, however, consumer expectations have shifted once again, and modern banking customers are increasingly telling their banks that simply offering a mobile app isn’t enough. If FIs want to connect with modern consumers, smartphone solutions also need to feature the latest innovations and slick user experiences.
The September edition of the PYMNTS Digital Banking Tracker™ looks at the rise of mobile tools and services in the digital banking space, including features built on artificial intelligence (AI) and Faster Payments technology.
Around the Digital Banking World
Just as smartphone manufacturers have integrated artificial intelligence into their devices — often in the form of virtual assistants like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa — banking customers want and expect their FIs to use this exciting new voice technology to help them manage their finances.
Over the course of the past month, several providers seemed to answer that call, debuting new services and features that utilize and integrate AI technology.
For instance, a pair of traditional banks are turning to smartphone-based AI to give their solutions a dose of intelligence. Barclay’s unveiled a new feature allowing customers to make payments simply by asking Apple’s voice assistant to do it for them, using the Siri integration for payments app Apple previously introduced with the iOS 10. And, similarly, RBC became the first bank in Canada to enable users to make a payment via the AI-powered assistant.
Meanwhile, Amazon and U.S. Bank collaborated to teach Alexa new skills, including enabling customers to complete tasks by speaking to the eCommerce giant’s voice-activated digital assistant. The pair also said they would continue to cooperate on other capabilities for Alexa in the future.
For the latest notable Digital Banking headlines and trends, check out the Tracker’s News and Trends section.
Standing Out in the Crowded Digital Banking Field
With so many mobile money management and banking options vying for attention in the digital banking space, it’s tough for a startup to stand out from the crowd.
For U.K.-based startup Starling Bank, distinguishing itself from other banking and FI mobile apps crowding app stores has often been a matter of being first to the finish line. In a recent interview, Julian Sawyer, the company’s COO, told PYMNTS the bank has been relying on a technology-rich background since it was founded last year in order to debut new digital features and services ahead of its competition.
“It goes back to what Starling is,” Sawyer said. “We’re a digital technology company that happens to be doing banking and payments, so we want to have technology leading the way for us. At the end of the day, we’re good at payments and we’re good at technology, and we want to combine those efforts so we can kind of lead the pack.”
To read see the full story, along with rankings of more than 200 players in the Digital Banking space, check out the latest edition of the Tracker.
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The PYMNTS Digital Banking Tracker™ brings you the latest news, research and expert commentary from the FinTech and consumer banking space, along with the rankings of over 200 companies serving or powering the digital banking sector.