Don’t find customers for your product, find products for your customers! – Seth Godin

According to a Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study, by the year 2022, global banking revenues will rise to an estimated $5.4 trillion. This number is 75% higher than the level in the year 2011. While it may seem encouraging, many large and small fintech firms are either entering the banking industry or are poised to do so. With their access to data analytics, AI capabilities, and a massive digital presence, the biggest disruption in banking may not be here yet. As BCG stated in their report, “If the digital giants are going to invade the bank’s turf, then it is time to act like the digital giants”. It is, therefore, time to up the stakes with mobile-based technologies that will widen engagement opportunities with customers.

Globally, statistics show that 5 billion people (that’s about 65% of the world’s population) send and receive messages through their phones. By 2025, smartphone usage is predicted to be at 77% of the world’s population while the number using messaging services to do so, is expected to go up to 6 billion. Considering the above, banks and financial institutions are paying close attention to mobile-based services that will bring the banks closer to their customers.

Keyboard Banking is a prime example of how banks are taking customer service and experience to the next level.

Keyboard Banking: How does it work?

Keyboard Banking is a technology that allows the bank’s customers to transact and access their financial information while chatting; without leaving the messaging app. So, whether the customer uses a social app, SMS, Email, WeChat, WhatsApp, or any other messenger app, they can easily initiate transactions or services using the keyboard banking app. This app interacts with the server over an API exposed by the server. Time to market is quick as it reuses the standard api i.e. already exposed to the mobile apps or internet banking.

The Keyboard Banking app is a social banking solution that customers can use through their messaging app to:

  • Check account balances
  • Top-up airtime
  • Transfer funds
  • Pay utility bills
  • Monitor and access their statement of accounts

The above can be accomplished without leaving/switching from the customer’s messaging app. Further, the Keyboard Banking app can be used as the default/regular mobile keypad. This technology provides a refreshingly, more convenient experience. It positions the banking services closer to the customers, contributing to a better and more personalised experience

Features of Keyboard Banking

The importance of weaving banking services into the digital lives of the customer cannot be overstated. The Keyboard Banking solution is a substantial leap forward in this direction.

  1. With the Keyboard Banking app, customers/users will have access to all financial services provided by the bank. The smartphone keyboard will include a button that will open a menu of services that the bank offers. So, no matter what they are doing or whom they are chatting with, access to banking or financial services is just a click away.
  2. P2P (peer-to-peer) transfers, account information, balance checks, and accessing promotions offered by the bank are just some of the services that customers will have access to. Services offered by the mobile banking app can be accessed through the keyboard banking app.
  3. The solution can be customised to suit a specific bank’s branding needs. Further, the keyboard app can be installed as a standalone app or can be plugged to install along with banking apps. So, it does not have any backend components leaving the existing service flows or security parameters untouched.
  4. The app is designed to be compatible with any messaging app that uses a keyboard. For instance, customers can use the app through Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, SMS, WeChat, or any other messaging app.
  5. The banking keyboard app does not initiate any networking activity (based on the bank’s mobile app); is completely secure and doesn’t store customer’s profile/financial data at app level..
  6. The app works well on both Android and IOS platforms.
  7. It does not require the installation of any APIs from third party chatting apps.

What’s in it for banks?

  • Attracting the Millennials: A research study by Salesforce indicates that more than a quarter of the millennials are entirely reliant on mobile banking applications. Most of them carry their lives in their pocket (in their smartphone). They read books through an app, carry a digital library of their memories on them, and keep in touch with everyone through messages or email. Banks are giving them exactly what they need with Keyboard Banking. For instance, using this app, customers can easily split a lunch bill or transfer money due to a friend, without leaving a chat session.
  • Innovation: Traditional banks are not just sources of finance or a facilitator of transactions, but they are institutions built on trust. However, the banking landscape is evolving; banks must adapt and deliver innovative, technology-based conveniences to stay competitive and grow. Innovative technologies such as Keyboard Banking will address current limitations and enhance the customer experience.

For instance, attracting the attention of customers to existing or new products has always been a challenge. However, targeted promotions through keyboard banking will be hard to ignore. With such efforts, chances of upselling or cross-selling to an existing customer improve dramatically.

  • Customer Engagement: Well-engaged customers lead to happy experiences, and that translates to more business for the banks. For instance, according to research conducted by Forrester, P2P payments are likely to reach $17 billion by the end of 2019 (from $5 billion in 2014). Currently, P2P transactions are being processed by digital payment providers. However, with keyboard banking, bank’s customers can complete P2P payments in real-time without switching apps or windows.

What’s in it for customers?

  • Customers are constantly looking for easier ways to access financial services. The “pay now” services that come with Keyboard Banking offer better visibility and enable better cash-management.
  • Considering that it is the age of instant gratification, payments to friends or catching up with your bills must not be more than a few clicks away. This is the convenience that Keyboard Banking offers.
  • Keyboard Banking is simple, safe, seamless, and effective. Customers can check their accounts and transact through the keyboard in the messaging app. A simple banking button on the keyboard makes this possible.
  • Most customers have a mobile banking app, but using the keyboard banking app gives them access to contextual services and personalised promotions. This contributes to a more intuitive banking experience.