Banks continue to become more technology-dependent, and have commonly launched a variety of new strategies that work to capitalize on consumer interest for mobile applications. While mobile banking and payment processing has been a rapidly growing trend in Canada, the United States is still lagging behind in terms of adoption, penetration and comfort levels among users.

More studies continue to indicate that banks, retailers and payment processors will have to comprehensively manage applications in such a way that maximizes user-friendliness and privacy protection. Because the technology is still relatively novel, the average consumer is still somewhat concerned about their financial data being transferred through mobile devices, networks and applications.

These fears are slowing adoption rates in various regions, but can be quickly mitigated by using more simplistic and effective tools for access control, including multi-factor authentication solutions. With the right types of tools and support from a proven vendor, financial institutions can create the most beneficial and desirable mobile strategies possible from the consumer's perspective.

Convenient security
Banktech recently reported that convenience and security have always been at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to data protection and general BYOD control. Many decision-makers will work under the misguided assumption that if an app or device is nearly impossible to access for anyone, including the user, that it must be at its most protected.

However, this is simply not the case, as studies suggest that a poor user experience can fuel errors, misuse and general circumvention of the controls by those trying to access the systems and data. According to the news provider, smartphones have been so popular among consumers because of the convenience the devices offer, as users can complete myriad tasks that would have traditionally required a personal computer wherever they are and whenever they want.

As such, if a bank were to create an app that was extremely difficult to use, or possibly has too complex of a security requirement from the user's perspective, the app would be less likely to succeed. Obviously, security is the most significant concern of banking executives, as well as decision-makers of any firm that handles sensitive financial and consumer information.

Banktech noted that financial institutions have to first gain the trust of consumers to ensure the apps put forth are viewed in a positive light from the start. In many instances, organizations will have to go a few steps beyond the call of duty to increase comfort among prospects, as data breaches have been in the news constantly.

The source suggested that multi-layer approaches to security will often work best, as these tools simultaneously verify identities more accurately and reliably than traditional methods, all the while ensuring ease of use from the consumer's side.

Know the customer
The Financial Brand recently listed several findings of a new survey that sought to discover what mobile banking customers want most out of their applications. According to the source, the most commonly demanded features in banking apps included online bill pay, email alerts for a variety of reasons, especially when transfers occur or limits are being reached and surcharge-free ATM use.

Additionally, the news provider pointed out that mobile check deposit is a growing feature that many banks have already started to incorporate into their apps, and 43 percent of respondents to the survey said that they would prefer the capabilities. A further 12 percent stated that mobile check deposit ability is a must-have component of mobile banking apps.

By creating a balance of user-friendliness and security with the right types of authentication tools, financial institutions can quickly create stronger customer bases through new technological deployments.