HSBC is turning off another of its pioneering fintech apps and integrating the most popular parts into its main mobile app.
The bank is taking the popular parts of its money management app, Connected Money, and integrating them into its main mobile banking app.
Connected Money will be turned off from September, with the first phase of features to be integrated with the main HSBC mobile banking app currently under development, and are due to be released towards the end of the year.
The money management app was launched in May last year and HSBC said that features which help people manage money and achieve goals have been most popular.
For example a feature, known as Balance After Bills, has proven popular. It helps users understand how much money they have left in their HSBC UK current account until payday, once Standing Orders and Direct Debits have been taken into account.
“User insights and feedback have been a key driver of Connected Money’s successful evolution, and the time is right to start integrating these intuitive learnings and experiences into our core mobile banking app,” said Raman Bhatia, head of digital bank at HSBC UK.
“What customers love the most about the app is the insights it can give them about their spending, and we’re looking forward to helping even more customers solve common and complex financial challenges in smart, practical ways.”
Never mind what customers love. What about the banks? The ability to test customer facing software out in the live environment at low cost, and then pick the best things and drop the rest is something big banks would have dreamed of a few years back. In the past doing this would have been expensive and complicated with a serious risk of disrupting customer services. Adding features to the main mobile app is essential as these apps are becoming the bank for the digital generation.
For example a survey of more than 13,000 consumers carried out by financial services review firm Smart Money People revealed that mobile apps had become the UK’s most popular banking channel at the expense of the online channel. It found that 39% of respondents preferred apps to bank with. This compared to just over 30% in the same survey in 2017. The growth came from the online banking channel, which dropped from over 45% in 2017 to 38.6% last year.
HSBC is making a habit of this. After a pilot First Direct, the online and telephone bank of HSBC, turned off an app known as Artha, which helps customers understand their spending from different providers through a single login
The most successful features of the app, developed with fintech company Bud as part on an open banking initiative, were then integrated into the First Direct mobile app.
The app was like the Mars Rover – sent out to customers to find evidence of life in open banking features.
“The aim of the Artha app trial was to explore how open API technology could help customers in new ways by connecting their different financial products and service providers in one place,” said HSBC at the time.