[Techtaffy Newsdesk]

Investment in mobile computing capabilities by UK banks and financial institutions has become a significant determinant of competitive advantage, according to research by Rackspace Hosting.

Providing customers with mobile apps is now viewed as being crucial to having a competitive advantage by 63 per cent of financial services organisations. The development of apps such as Barclays’ Pingit is an example of how use of innovative technology can be exciting and engaging to the customer; it also demonstrates the banking sector’s wider progressive attitude and desire to dominate the mobile payments industry.

The finance sector’s appetite for mobile apps has been revealed by the research, which found:

20 per cent have released a customer-facing mobile application in the last 12 months
17 per cent are in the process of developing apps for customers
19 per cent are developing apps for private clients
These are some of the findings of independent research carried out by CityIQ in association with Rackspace into attitudes toward mobility across the whole of the UK’s banking and finance sector.

The increasing importance of mobile in banking and finance can be attributed to the explosion in customer demand and expectations. The greater availability of cloud-based delivery mechanisms has made it feasible for mobile solutions to be developed and rolled out quickly and securely. Cloud computing is considered by the overwhelming majority of respondents as having a significant part to play in developing their mobile strategies, with 78 per cent agreeing the cloud is an enabler of increased mobility and 43 per cent stating their organisation is either using or planning to use it.

Despite growing awareness of the advantages of mobile banking apps, there are still over a quarter (27 per cent) of respondents who said they don’t have a mobile strategy, which could leave them exposed to the risk of being out-maneuvered by more innovative competitors.

“There is a clear appetite to use mobile apps for competitive advantage in banking and finance, which will underpin investments in technology that can deliver real business benefits,” said Fabio Torlini, Rackspace VP of Cloud. “This is an area that is going to continue to grow in importance, as developing mobile apps is considered by 68 per cent of respondents as something that will have an impact on their business in the future. As banks strive to provide individual and institutional customers with the technology to conduct their banking needs on the move and via any device there will be an increasing reliance on mobile apps and the cloud as the delivery mechanism.”

[Image Courtesy: Rackspace]