Mobile insights for finance brands

The widespread adoption of smartphones worldwide has forever changed the way in which consumers behave. Brands are taking this fact into account, and are trying to engage these connected consumers through mobile. The spending on mobile by brand advertisers is consistently increasing, and it seems that it is going to grow more in the near future.

Finance brands constitute one of the market sectors that use mobile technology in order to reach consumers and increase loyalty. The mobile finance audience consists of consumers who engage with finance content and ads on their mobile devices. It is a group that has to a large extent embraced next generation mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.  Brands use mobile advertising in order to reach them and drive traffic directly to their apps or sites.Consumers who access financial content on their mobile devices tend to be young males between the ages of 18 and 34. Male users constitute the majority, as they reach 55%. Regarding their economic situation, financial content users have on average higher income than the overall mobile audience.

Over the last year, experienced finance advertisers have increased their commitment to mobile, and more and more brands have been shifting ad spend from other media channels.

As regards the type of content that mobile finance users choose to consume, they are looking for finance-related content – financial news, brokerage account information, banking details, but not only that.

The basic audience targeting methods used by finance advertisers in 2011 were Content targeting, Tactical targeting, Local targeting and Demographic targeting. In many cases, they combined more methods. For example, half of the finance campaigns which used Local targeting in order to reach audiences within a given geographic region also used Demographic targeting to more precisely identify their target audience.

It is estimated that consumers will be turning to connected mobile devices even more frequently, in order to meet their financial needs. They use their mobile devices on a daily basis to access their bank accounts, trade stocks, or sign up for insurance services. In addition, they have the opportunity to search for their nearest bank or ATM location or take advantage of special credit card promotions.

What are the opportunities for Finance Brands?

As consumers start to utilize NFC and other mobile payment options, they will be interacting with their mobile devices in new ways. The increased usage of apps also continues to change the way in which we interact with mobile content. With increased consumer engagement, it is anticipated that finance brands’ commitment to mobile will continue to evolve since mobile technology provides an amazing opportunity to reach audiences at a very broad scale.

From the time that customers have already downloaded an app, finance brands should create long-term value by making it easy for them to keep using it. This can be achieved by making sure that customers that downloaded the app will be provided with consistent benefits. In this way, the app will take its place among the other apps on their mobile devices.

Finance brands should make sure that consumers keep using their apps, by developing app engagement programs.

In addition, they should try to reach every possible target consumer, regardless of the device they are using. The users of iPhone and iPad constitute just a portion of the market. Users of devices powered by Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and other operating systems are potential customers too. Finally, finance brands should not hesitate to run various campaigns in order to test different targeting methods, ad types, creative executions, as well as calls to action.

What are banks doing in mobile?

Nevertheless, a recent study conducted by MyPrivateBanking has concluded that global banks offer surprisingly few good mobile apps.

According to the MyPrivateBanking report, even though the mobile revolution has influenced the banking industry, little progress has been made in this area. According to the report, about two thirds of the banks analyzed offer only very basic banking apps that have limited functionality and restricted content. In addition, there are some global banks that still do not have any apps for private clients.
The main conclusions of the report are the following:

  • The majority of banking apps are designed only for iPhone. In many cases, Android versions are not available, excluding a significant number of consumers.
  • App functionality is limited to the basics. The percentage of banks that offer market information applications is 65%, while only 40% of banks provide apps with brokerage functionality for trading stocks and other securities.

The content provided is limited and not particularly useful. According to the data, less than 50% of the banks offer product information or financial news on their apps. Video content and digital client magazines are only offered by a small minority.

There are problems regarding security and privacy policies. It has been observed that many apps do not offer the same level of security as regular Internet banking. In addition, in most cases there are no privacy policies.

On the other hand there are banks like Eurobank EFG for example (link to case study) that have grasped the potentials offered to them and are heading the way not only by providing a high level of service within their mobile app but mostly by coming up with new ways to communicate with their clients.

Eurobank saw an opportunity to create a new communication channel with its clients and designed a compelling mobile marketing strategy.

Having invested heavily in loyalty credit cards schemes Eurobank has set up a network of more than 4000 affiliate merchants. Using the SDK  the bank set out to provide users with offers that could increase sales for their affiliate merchants.


George currently plans and executes the marketing and communication strategy of Warply.

He is a specialist in digital and mobile marketing, advertising and media having worked on a wide variety of projects including developing mobile strategies, creating products and services, and implementing initiatives for a wide variety of clients

He is organizing Startup Weekend University in Athens as well as London Startup Weekend where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out in an intense weekend if their startup ideas are viable.

As an adjunct professor at Panteion University of Social Sciences, he has designed and taught a course that focuses on inbound and mobile marketing while at the same time aims at introducing students to entrepreneurship and startup culture.

George has studied at the Athens University of economics and Business and received a masters degree in Marketing and Communication. Over the past 10 years he has designed and executed digital marketing plans in mobile, travel, e-commerce, fashion and health care industry, consulting companies on how they can build an effective digital strategy using the integration of content, search, social, video, and mobile platforms. He is currently investigating how mobile is disrupting most established business models, focusing on mobile advertising, loyalty schemes, payments and m-commerce.