Mobile Applications in Financial Services: The Concepts, Methods, Issues and Future Conceptual Products that make a Significant Impact in Security

In support of the upcoming Financial Technology Innovation Forum, I recently sat down with Finance IQ to share some insights on mobile applications for the Financial Services Industry. Check out our interview below.

The impact mobile applications will have on Financial Services companies is not yet clearly defined. As mobile increasingly becomes an ever more essential part of the way customers conduct their business, players in the financial services industry need to make sure they do not lag behind in their technologies. Finance IQ interviewed Matthew Wilcox, Vice-President of Interactive Services at Zions Bancorporation on the state of these technologies today, and going forward where he foresees mobile taking Financial Services companies in the future.

Finance IQ:
Can you address the concepts, methods, and issues for mobile applications in the Financial Services Industry?
Matthew Wilcox: There are numerous mobile application concepts that range from security to m-commerce within the Financial Services industry. The toughest part of managing a mobile product is navigating through all the hype to get to the small nuggets of material that are relevant to your business. If method is a new way of defining mobile strategy then the answer is it is a no-win scenario. Financial Institutions that are on the bleeding edge are investing in technology that has a limited shelf life, given the rapid advances in mobile technology and the constant demand from mobile bankers to have the latest and greatest. Close followers seem to be making similar mistakes as those on the bleeding edge, due to the time and complexity involved in bringing up new mobile technologies – and the laggards in this space won’t need to worry about mobile since they will not have any customers left. Addressing concept and method should provide you with a solid taste of the issues the Financial Services industry faces in regards to mobile, and all of this happens before you get to security and ROI.

Finance IQ:
What kind of impact have mobile applications had on the financial market?
Matthew Wilcox: At this point in the evolution of the Financial Services mobile application we are not at a point where the impact of mobile applications on the financial market is clearly defined. I think everyone agrees that this space is going somewhere, but whether or not mobile lives up to all the hype as the next step in commerce within the U.S. has yet to be seen. Depending on where mobile lands in the next few years will give us a better understating of the kind of impact mobile applications will have on the financial market. However, I predict mobile will overcome online banking in terms of usage and will also be seen as a fully-fledged marketing channel.

Finance IQ:
What kind of impact have mobile applications had on your business?
Matthew Wilcox: Currently mobile applications have been seen as an investment in our future. We have had to invest as part of our overall online/mobile strategy. It is important for us to meet consumer expectations for service delivery set by larger financial institutions such as Citibank, Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America. In the near future we expect mobile to have a much more positive and profound impact on our business especially when you look the potential that m-commerce presents, which is why it is so critical for us to continue to gain experience in this space.

Finance IQ:
What are some conceptual products that make a significant impact in security?
Matthew Wilcox: Products currently exist that have an impact on security and risk, such as Mobile RDC and P2P Transfers. However additional products, such as the mobile wallet, are in the conceptual phase and will have as dramatic an impact on security. In addition, the mobile malware (along with phishing and spoofing techniques) are in their infancy and many of the tools needed to combat these threats have yet to be developed.

Finance IQ:
Where do you see this technology taking the Financial Services Industry in the future?
Matthew Wilcox: In the future, mobile will most definitely replace online banking, but more importantly mobile will change the way consumers interface with their Financial Institutions. In a world where managing finances is a monthly, weekly or daily event, mobile will most definitely push more customers and small business owners towards real-time financial management. Even more intriguing is the mobile wallet, which in theory will consolidate the consumer facing process of commerce down to a single application on a mobile device.


Matthew Wilcox is a speaker at the upcoming IQPC Financial Technology Innovation Forum, October 17 to 19, 2011 in New York City. For more information or to register, visit or email [email protected].


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