Is the desktop dead? Many people are starting to ask this question. PC sales have been sliding for almost 2 years. Tablets are becoming the new desktops, everyone seems to have a tablet, you can even use them on planes now during take-off and landing when the laptop has to go away. The “user-experience” you get through an App running on a mobile device (Tablets and SmartPhones) is clearly superior to a “browser-based” experience. And finally Microsoft is producing Office for the iPad, I can’t do everything on the iPad version of PowerPoint, but it is pretty darn close and I love it. Yes, things don’t look good for the old PC.
Is Internet Banking dead?
When we look at Internet Banking we also see some interesting statistics. The channel has peaked in terms of growth. For most community credit unions and banks, Internet banking is either only very slowly growing or in many cases usage is shrinking. And there is a new phenomena called “mobile banking only” where consumers stop using Internet banking all together and exclusively use the mobile channel. In fact, at several of the banks I track, up to 27% – 30% of their mobile banking end-users are “mobile-only”. That is an amazing fact that few would have predicted 2 or 3 years ago. And innovation on the Internet banking side has come to a standstill as everyone puts emphasis and dollars toward mobile.
Internet banking is the new legacy.
But I like the desktop. And I truly believe Internet banking will be here for a long time. Yes, it will be marginalized, but just like Interactive Voice Response (IVR Banking), it will hold on and some consumers will continue to use it as their primary channel. And the experience will get better as mobile apps will start running on the desktop. You got it, apps on the desktop. Imagine a great “app-like” experience but on that old clunky laptop. All sorts of vendors are figuring out how to make this happen and that includes mobile banking apps too. Now that will be cool, bringing all that innovative mobile functionality to the legacy channel of Internet on the desktop.
So times are changing.
The desktop and Internet banking are becoming legacy. Consumers are voting with their usage and relegating these technologies to a position of second place. While they will not go away, the approach of “omni-channel”, where all channels act in synchronization with a consistent look and feel will win the day. Mobile and Internet banking are increasing converging. The consumer will win and the community bank and credit union will win, as costs begin to lower by combining technology and infrastructure. This is great news for everyone, and just imagine, soon enough that laptop your reading this on will be talked about in the same group as the Commodore 64 and the Apple I.
Welcome to the future and bring it on, as convergence is a sign of real advancement in the banking industry.