15
May

These days, many consumers are turning to mobile banking and other paperless account management options to keep tabs on their finances throughout their day-to-day lives, but financial institutions that want to truly create a full experience in this realm still have a ways to go.

Going paperless can be favorable for both financial institutions and consumers, new data from Javelin Strategy and Research suggests, but when it comes to achieving fully paperless institutions, there are a number of steps that major banks will need to take, according to a report from Bank Tech. In all, there are seven "phases" of digital use for consumers that banks need to recognize and take advantage of.

The first step financial institutions must take is recognizing that the customer is always able to access their financial account data thanks to mobile technology, and they also need to understand that any interactions they have in dealing with them will be made in real time. Further, these will be transparent and easy for customers to understand, and consumers need to be able to control and customize how they receive data about their accounts. Banks will also need to make it so that consumers are able to integrate the data they receive, and ensure that any account details and interactions with the institution remain secure. Finally, customers want banks to ensure their dealings and relationship is conducive to helping them achieve their goals.

What's the benefit in the end?

Once all these steps are addressed, financial institutions and their customers will both see considerable benefits, the report said. Banks will save money and time on sending out monthly statements, and consumers will have a clearer picture of their accounts, which will make them more flexible financially.

"Imagine a world where your bank can tell you how each of your expenditures affect your stated financial goals, in real time," said Mark Schwanhausser, senior analyst with Javelin and co-author of the report, according to the site. "With each swipe of a card or tap of a phone, your bank can help you have a greater understanding of how it affects your larger goals. You can tackle 'unconscious spending' and see how miscellaneous expenses add up. [Personal financial management] can change from just budgeting to helping you get closer to a financial goal."

Currently, relying more often on digital account management and other mobile banking options can be beneficial to consumers because it not only gives them a better idea of where they stand with their finances, but also, many financial institutions are giving consumers a small price break for doing so. This might include lower or completely eliminated fees for maintaining accounts throughout the year.

Many experts believe that as consumers become more secure in their use of mobile banking systems, they will be eager to move toward these programs and away from paper statements.