Issue #34 - September 2017 

Crafting the Perfect Business Banking App: Piece by Piece

Jonathan Ferguson, Business Banking Product Manager, CSI Digital Banking 

We usually think about mobile banking apps as they pertain to retail banking relationships, but commercial accounts need a mobile strategy as well. For example, in a recent industry survey, 53% of the 167 banking executives who responded stated that they anticipate growth in small-business loans in 2017. To accommodate this anticipated growth, banks also must provide the most relevant technology to small business owners, particularly where the mobile experience is concerned.

The fact is, small business owners demand the same capabilities from their mobile app as do their retail counterparts. Financial institutions must connect a seamless mobile experience to the intricacies of running a business, which means applying the same functionality and accessibility of a retail mobile banking app with the security and administrative capabilities necessary for business authorizations. What does that look like? Let’s put it together, piece by piece.

Piece 1: Functionality Tailored to Businesses

Business owners have unique needs that transcend those of the consumer. To capitalize on them, financial institutions must offer relevant business banking solutions that show they understand the intricacies of these needs. For instance, a modernized business banking app should access the same functions that are available on an online portal, including:

  1. Business Dashboard: A high-level overview screen with the ability to view and manage tax payments and other app functionalities. Putting this front and center grants the customer a detailed view of their business at a glance. 
  2. Same Day ACH/Wire Transfers: The ability to edit, reject, delete, copy and approve ACH and wire transfers with a few touches.
  3. Decision History Overview: An easily accessed and detailed review of past decisions on the app.
  4. Multi-Check Deposit Capture: Business owners can view and approve multiple checks from their mobile devices.

Piece 2: Making It Truly Mobile

Although the business elements listed above are indeed important, a mobile business banking app cannot simply be a replica of an online offering. Certain mobile functions should be implemented as well, including:

  1. Push Notifications: Mobile users love push notifications because they grant immediate access to an internal page, and business owners are no different. For example, ACH transfer notifications that allow the user direct access to the page, bypassing the menu option, let the business owner authorize a transaction or make a scheduled transfer with a swipe and a tap.
  2. Simple Design/Ease of Use: There is nothing quite as obnoxious as an app that’s filled with clutter. Though it might be tempting to load up on the menu options, this technique can often backfire, leading to user frustration. Financial institutions should apply a design that provides an optimized, clean feel. 
  3. Regular Updates: As technology evolves, apps must be updated with increased offerings, without the cost of a separate application.

Piece 3: Security

A business banking app can have all the functionality in the world, but if it lacks the necessary security protocols to keep a business customer’s information safe, that functionality is useless. A mobile business app’s main objective should be giving business owners the convenience of a mobile experience with the security that can be found on an online portal, including:

  1. Sub-user Control: Giving business owners a secure method for assigning privileges to trusted sub-users provides a necessary system of accountability and simplifies the approval process. This can be extended to ACH and tax payments through single or batch transactions.
  2. Auto-detecting Anomalies: Both banks and their business customers benefit from software that regularly screens for possible fraud and compiles daily reports. No cybersecurity protection system is perfect, but detecting fraud in the early stages will minimize damage.
  3. Risk Management: No matter the security offerings, the financial institution must maintain direct control over all users on an account, allowing for optimal control of risk.

Piece 4: Integration to the Core

Implementing the above-mentioned functionalities must not overshadow consistent customer service.  Providing a universal experience across all channels—including mobile—is the cornerstone of the omnichannel banking concept—a strategy that’s proving crucial to the customer experience. This unified front is seeded by integrating any mobile experience with:

  1. The Core Platform: From the bank’s perspective, integrating a business mobile app into its core banking system borders on necessity. The days of having a mobile app with one vendor and Internet banking with another are decreasingly common, as more banks aim for the omnichannel experience by integrating offerings with their core platform.
  2. Single Admin Portal: Bank employees can manage their customer base from one central system that drives all interactions and processes all data.

Using these pieces as a guide, financial institutions can formulate a relevant, innovative and fluid mobile experience for their business customers, thereby providing them the operational capabilities they need to grow their businesses. 

 Back to the September 2017 Technology & Security Digest