Mobile is the new frontier and banks know this well.
Amongst the various choices to make as part of the bank’s overall mobile initiative, is the decision around the structuring of mobile app(s).
Thin App Vs a Fat App.
These might sound strange terms especially in reference to mobile apps and no, we are not talking about the size of the app in MBs.
A Thin Mobile App is a niche solution available for select instances or customers, which allows a small subset of activities to be handled.
On the contrary, a Fat app is one where all the possible features and functionalities are available in the single app.
Banks have chosen to tread either of the paths. E.g. ICICI Bank has multiple apps in the playstore and HDFC Bank has just one main app.
As one would expect, there are pros and cons of both, and I am listing a few here that come to my mind.
|Attribute||Thin App||Fat App|
|Clean UI||Easy to deliver||Needs design assistance|
|User Engagement||Higher – as less distractions||Lower as many features irrelevant|
|App Marketing||App adoption slows as marketing dollars split across multiple apps||Overall downloads look better as one single app|
|App Development||Becomes complicated with multiple apps in market||Easier since tracking just one app|
|Channel Migration||Depends on how the bank approaches it||Depends on how the bank approaches it|
I personally feel, more than the final choice, it is the reasons that drive the choice which are important e.g.
- It makes more sense to have a separate thin mobile app, if there is a unique customer segment that seems to have very different transaction or enquiry profile as compared to the others. E.g. Retail bank customers vs SME business owners
- Building Traction. Many banks want to keep their mobile banking app for transactions only and do not see value in building any pre-login use-case. This makes the mobile adoption target so much tougher as there has to be a very precise value that the customer foresees in using the mobile platform for transacting. Plus its a two stage goal, get downloads and then get usage. It might be useful to break it down into easier goals, get downloads by providing a use-case even if its a pre-login e.g. offers on debit and credit cards. And then get the customer who already has your app to start using it for transactions.
What do you think?