How to Promote Mobile Banking & Boost Adoption

What’s in it for them?

It’s a simple question, but one that’s at the core of successful mobile banking marketing campaigns.

Why should your customers care? Why should they pay attention? And (most importantly) why should they try mobile banking?

Answering these questions (with a reason other than “it’s more convenient”) can elevate your marketing campaign from one that raises “awareness” to one that drives adoption.

Today, I thought I’d talk about the promotional tactics that best support adoption. The ones that go beyond awareness to prompt action — and the ones that don’t.

But first, let’s look at some of the other factors affecting mobile banking adoption rates.

Why Some Financial Institutions Are Pros at Driving Digital Adoption

1. They have a more tech-friendly customer base

Some financial institutions have a younger, tech-savvy customer base that are more inclined to adopt mobile banking.

This isn’t to say older customers won’t adopt new tech. In fact the majority are interested in banking online and digital tools. But they need more help than younger customers — and often a bigger incentive to change. You need different tactics.[1]

 2. They have better tech

It’s hard to convince people to adopt your tech if it isn’t easy to use, meets their needs, and is simple to sign up for.

A recent study showed that 38% of millennials have abandoned mobile banking because the process took too long.[2]

If it’s too much effort to change, people won’t. 

3. They have a Marketing strategy that goes beyond awareness

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when promoting mobile banking is to focus only on awareness. Telling people how great your mobile banking app is (in most cases) won’t drive adoption.

Why? Because while your tech is convenient, change isn’t.

To drive adoption you need to:

  1. Raise awareness of the benefits

  2. Educate customers on how-to use your new tech

  3. Give customers a reason to change now

But how do you actually do that?

3 Powerful Tactics for Promoting Mobile Banking

1. Empower Your Front-line

The perfect opportunity to promote mobile banking is when customers visit your branch. You can pull them out of a busy line and walk them through how to complete their transactions digitally.

But this means your frontline staff need to be confident a) using your mobile app, and b) recommending it to customers.

You also need to actively pursue buy-in from staff, who will be (understandably) skeptical of digital technology.

 2. Build a Resource Centre on Your Website

One major barrier to adoption is your customers’ confidence level using your mobile app. If they don’t believe they can complete transactions correctly, they aren’t going to use it.

A simple way to rectify this is to provide product simulations on your website. This way customers and frontline staff can educate themselves on how to use your tech, whenever they have time/need.

3. Run an Interactive Marketing Campaign

Interactive campaigns (like game-based marketing promos) are great for promoting mobile banking. You can raise awareness, educate customers, and incentivize adoption all within one experience.

The trick is to create engaging experiences that encourage customers to stick around. An easy way to do this is by combining fun experiences (like games) with prizes that customers care about.

This not only gives customers a reason to engage for longer periods of time, but can actually change their behaviour & build habits of use.

5 Tactics to Avoid When Promoting Mobile Banking

Not all promotional tactics are built equally.

And some of the more traditional methods financial institutions use to promote their offering are not well suited to promoting mobile banking.

1. TV Ads

While they're popular device for increasing brand awareness, TV ads aren’t that effective at driving adoption.

You’re relying on customers to watch your ad (and actually pay attention). Then for people to navigate (essentially unprompted) to the app store, and download a banking app — instead of continuing to watch TV.

It’s probably not going to happen.

2. “Awareness” Direct Mail Campaigns

I often get pamphlets in the mail from my bank, telling me about new features of their mobile app. And to be honest? They almost always end up in the trash.

Pamphlets & other direct mail campaigns rely on customers abandoning what they’re doing to learn about your banking app. Unless your direct mail gives customers a reason to engage (like a chance to win for example) they’re not going to.

3. Print Ads

Like direct mail and TV ads, print ads serve entirely as awareness pieces. And unless you’re targeting tech savvy people those ads won’t be enough to drive adoption.

Financial services isn’t a sexy topic; people don’t like taking time out of their days to think about it. And unless there is a reason for them to do so, they won’t.

4. PR

Many non-banking apps rely on press to drive adoption, hoping to “go viral” and acquire a ton of app users.

But banking isn’t cool (sorry). You don’t “try out” a banking app — so PR often doesn’t have a big impact on adoption rates.

5. “Awareness” Video & Social Ads

I’m repeating myself at this point, but I’ll say it again...

Most people don’t like banking.

It’s insanely hard to get them to leave Facebook (where things are interesting and fun) to download a banking app. So if you’re going to do social ads, you need to give customers a reason to engage and download your app.

The Bottom Line

Driving mobile banking adoption requires you to examine what barriers stand in customers’ way.

Are they unsure of how to use your tech?

Is it difficult to use or sign-up for?

Do they have a reason to pay attention & change (beyond ‘it’s convenient’)?

Remember, mobile banking is convenient. But change isn’t.

You need both online and in-branch tactics to effectively promote adoption.