Banking, Deposits, Transfers, and Payments

Apps and Alerts

Innovative Activities

Key Finding from a Previous Phoenix Synergistics Report:

In the 2016 Phoenix Synergistics survey, Small Business Channel Dynamics, findings revealed that small businesses’ usage of mobile phones for financial activities had increased notably since 2013.

Has usage of the mobile channel continued to grow among small businesses.

Research Description and methodology

This study examines small businesses’ experience with and interest in mobile banking and payments, as well as their reaction to various apps, alerts, and pricing options.

National Internet Survey – The survey will include 800 online interviews with owners and executives of small businesses with annual sales of $50K to $5M.  Industry categories include manufacturing, wholesale, retail, and services.

Key Dates

November 21, 2017 – Final acceptance of client comments on the questionnaire.

November 21, 2017 – Charter fee date.

January 2018 – Initial results available.

February 2018 – Project Report available.

Strategic Objectives

  • Profile the PC-based online banking and financial activities of small businesses as a basis for assessing the potential for mobile activities. Identify types of accounts accessed and activities performed. Assess the extent to which laptop computers are used in a “mobile mode.”
  • Measure the extent to which small businesses are accessing their financial accounts with mobile devices – mobile phones or tablets. Detail mobile activity – accounts accessed, weekly frequency of usage, and types of activities and transactions. Assess differences, if any, between mobile phone and tablet activity.
  • Assess mobile bill payment activity. Measure current monthly frequency and contrast with PC-based activity. Determine relative usage of the sites or apps of FIs, billing organizations, and third parties.  Evaluate the potential for adoption of mobile bill payment in the next year.
  • Determine the role of the mobile channel for small business financial activities – major, secondary, or only for emergencies. Determine if mobile banking is used to access accounts at the main provider and if this channel would be recommended.
  • Examine current experience with and potential for innovative mobile activities – such as mobile cash management, mobile RDC, mobile POS payments, and mobile card processing. Assess current mobile B2B payments activity.
  • Assess the potential for expanding the user base for mobile banking and financial activities. Determine reasons for non-adoption. Identify advantages that may be marketing points as well as disadvantages that may represent objections to address.
  • Determine if current or future usage of mobile banking is related to particular small business identifiers or variables – such as annual sales volume, industry segment, or number of employees.  Assess how other current channel behavior may impact the mobile channel

Research Issues

  • Mobile banking and payments is a growing and exciting area in the small business market.  Somewhat paralleling the consumer market, small business owners and executives are increasingly utilizing their mobile phones or other devices for day-to-day banking activities – including balance and activity inquiries, transfers between accounts, and remote deposits.  Indeed, previous Phoenix Synergistics research has found that mobile RDC has significant appeal among small businesses. Mobile payments is another area seeing notable adoption among small businesses.  This encompasses mobile bill payment, mobile payments at the point of sale, and mobile P2P payments.  In terms of receiving payments, mobile card readers – attached to a mobile phone or tablet – are also seeing widening popularity among small businesses.
  • Profiling this current activity is an important step in assessing the overall potential for the mobile banking and payments channel.  This includes aspects such as frequency of usage, preferences for apps vs. web browsers, and the utilization of mobile account alerts.  Pricing strategies and revenue opportunities are another important consideration in evaluating this market. Are small business customers willing to pay fees or maintain balances to have mobile banking and payment services?  Or is this primarily a relationship retention tool that creates account “stickiness”?
  • Non-traditional providers – such as PayPal and Square – are also an element in the small business mobile banking and payments space – aggressively competing for a share of the market with an array of innovative products and services.  In this dynamic environment, it is necessary to understand the perspective of small businesses.  This study will give providers a better understanding of the mobile financial needs of their small business customers so they can design or refine mobile banking and payment services for small businesses.


Provider Competition

Pricing Strategies and Real-Time Paymemts

Impact on Other Payment Methods

Key Finding from the Report:

There is a preference among mobile phone users for using a mobile P2P payment service from their main FI over one from a third-party organization.

How can you leverage your position among consumers as a preferred mobile P2P payments provider?

Research Description and methodology

This study examines consumer experience with mobile P2P payments. Pricing issues, the importance of real-time payments, and the impact on other payment methods are also assessed.

National Internet Survey – The survey includes 1,015 Internet interviews with consumers age 18 or older.

Key Dates

October 27, 2017 – Final acceptance of client comments on the questionnaire.

October 27, 2017 – Charter fee date.

December 2017– Initial results available.

January 2018 – Project Report available.

Strategic Objectives

  • Examine the environment for mobile P2P payment services – methods currently used to make payments to other individuals, awareness of mobile P2P services overall and of specific brands, and awareness of advertising of these services.
  • Assess current mobile P2P activity – including usage overall and of specific brands, perceived value of the service, frequency of usage, pricing, largest payment made, and satisfaction.
  • Evaluate the potential for mobile P2P payment services – likelihood of adoption among nonusers, acceptable pricing arrangements, largest amount willing to send, and accounts would link.
  • Measure the usage and assess the importance of a number of features – such as immediate funds availability, ability to track activity, a liability policy for fraud or loss, and the ability to attach emoji’s or pictures to transfers.
  • Determine the advantages of mobile P2P services that can be promoted to expand and increase usage of the service. Identify concerns or disadvantages that should be addressed as potential barriers to adoption.
  • Examine provider preferences for mobile P2P services – the main provider or third-party organizations. Determine perception of which is most secure.
  • Identify consumer segments – defined by demographics, financial behavior, or attitudes – that have the most potential for adopting mobile P2P payments

Research Issues

  • There are a lot of questions emerging as providers try to understand what is happening in the P2P payments space.  Many observers believe that growth in P2P payments has stalled.  In addition, P2P marketing efforts appear to have slowed over the past few years.  At the same time, there are estimates revealing that the number of providers in the process of implementing P2P payment programs is increasing.  Key players such as PayPal, Visa, and MasterCard are active in the P2P arena. Despite all of the projections and activity, the adoption of P2P has been limited.
  • Identifying the key benefits of usage as well as the barriers to adoption among consumers will be essential.  Some believe that consumers simply do not see enough advantages to using P2P and know they can use other more familiar alternatives.  Is service availability an issue? Is real-time availability of transferred funds a key issue? It is important to understand the consumer perspective on P2P payments to develop programs that will benefit all of those involved in this space.