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Your citizens are banking on mobile government

Post by John Thomson on December 29th, 2015

When’s the last time you walked into a bank to check your account balance? Or to transfer funds from one account to another? Like most Americans, even the idea of doing such a routine activity in person seems laughable.

According to a recent retail banking survey by Bain & Company, a global management consulting firm, banks continue to place high priority on migrating routine activities out of the branch office and into self-service digital channels—specifically mobile experiences.1

State and local governments would do well to see citizen services through the same lens. By offering a mobile app alternative to routine services such as vehicle tag renewal, permitting and licenses, citation payments and turnpike passes, government agencies can reallocate office staff to more high-value activities while delivering a consistently awesome experience for citizens anytime, anywhere.

The retail banking industry has taken steps to meet customers where they are. Knowing mobile app experiences offer a level of convenience, speed and relationship management that snail mail or even websites just can’t match.

Mobile commerce is quickly making responsive online experiences essential—visually intuitive, innately secure, immediately accessible. Government leaders who equate their existing website with mobile-first technologies like PayIt need to take a step back to reassess the evolving behaviors and expectations of their citizen base. Because the times they are a-changin’.

In 2015, the U.S. Census Bureau projected millennials to overtake boomers as the nation’s largest living generation.2 It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that this shift brings with it a new reliance on mobile technology. Back to Bain & Company’s global survey—when they asked nearly 115K consumers whether they’d miss their mobile phone or physical wallet more, more than half chose their phone.1

It’s not surprising. Bank and retail customers are citizens, too. They don’t expect to interact with private and public service providers in two different spheres. What they do expect is one big, connected world. The question is how late will your state or local agencies be to the party?

1Bain Report, “Customer Behavior and Loyalty in Retail Banking,” www.bain.com, Bain & Company, November 18, 2015
2Richard Fry, “This year, Millennials will overtake Baby Boomers,” www.pewresearch.org, Pew Research Center, January 16, 2015

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