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I know, let’s differentiate the bank by launching an app!

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Iphone apps

It’s Friday, so we should have some fun.

Unfortunately, it’s both a bit of fun and a bit of a

The challenge is how to differentiate the bank?

That’s always been a challenge.

Most banks reckon that they don’t need to differentiate the
bank because once you’ve got a customer, you’ve got them for life.


But some banks reckon that this olde worlde view of banking
is disintegrating and that Gen Y and beyond are far more challenging.

For example, in the latest BAI Strategies, US research firm Market Rates talks about the age divide for channel

The firm finds:

24% of Gen Y consumers, identified as those between the ages
of 18 and 35, indicated a branch as their preferred banking method.

25% of Gen X consumers, who are between 36 and 46 years old,
are using a branch for their banking services.

38% of seniors aged 67 or over, and 31% of baby boomers, who
are between the ages of 47 and 66, do so

This shows a variance of nearly 14% between Gen Y and the
oldest group.

Conversely Gen Y has embraced mobile banking as their
preferred banking channel to the tune of 6%, followed by Gen X at 4% and baby
boomers at 2%. None of the seniors in the study indicated a preference for
mobile banking.

I’m surprised the numbers are so small but then noted that
69% of Gen Y, 69%, 68% of Gen X, 65% of baby boomers and 61% of seniors choose
online banking as their main channel.

And there’s the rub. 
The online crowd will move rapidly to the mobile online crowd, and so
these last set of numbers will be the mobile bank users in the near term

Hence, to differentiate the bank, let’s launch an app, or so
the mantra seems to go.

So I then looked at how many apps are on my iTunes store
related to banking and found there’s quite a few.

Over 300 in fact (for stats on iTunes apps, see end of blog).

But few show differentiation although there are some.

For example, the ones you have to pay for.  Who would pay when most are free?

Maybe the ones that help to save money – finding the best
exchange rates – or the ones that provide accounting and budgeting
capabilities, or the ones that provide entertainment.

In fact, the one that really stood out for me is the app: Hypnotize your bank manager.

Now that one really rocks.

See if there are any here that stand out for you.

Iphone apps

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There have been over 50,000,000,000 downloads of apps from the iTunes store since its launch in 2008, and the number of apps has increased significantly during that time:

July 2008 - 800

Sept. 2008 - 3,000

April 2009 - 35,000

Sept. 2009 - 85,000

April 2010 - 185,000

June 2010 - 225,000 (8,500 native to iPad)

Nov. 2010 - 400,000 (40,000 native to iPad)

June 2011 - 425,000 (90,000 native to iPad)

Oct. 2011 - 500,000 (140,000 native to iPad)

June 2012 - 650,000 (225,000 native to iPad)

Sept. 2012 - 700,000 (250,000 native to iPad)

Jan. 2013 - 775,000 (300,000 native to iPad)



Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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