Banks set to launch customer app stores, says Gartner

By 2016, 25% of the world’s largest banks will have launched an app store for customers to find digital services, says Gartner

By 2016, 25% of the world’s largest banks will have launched an app store for customers to find digital services, says Gartner.

Bank's rapid deployment of apps, and the different places they can be found, make app stores the answer to making app discovery easier for customers.

“Banking CIOs, CMOs and line-of-business heads face two key challenges. The first is that the visibility of customer banking apps in public stores is decreasing due to the total number of apps available; the second is that visibility of apps on bank websites is decreasing as the number of apps a bank deploys increases,” said Gartner.

Kristen Moyer, research vice-president at Gartner said: "Left unaddressed, these two challenges and others could really have a negative impact on banking revenues and customer experience. Banks can use banking app stores to improve app discovery, but only if the added cost and complexity are warranted."

“As more banks deploy app stores, it will put competitive pressure on those that do not.”

Gartner said banks should follow three actions: evaluate the potential need for a banking app store; continue to make banking apps available through the public stores; and improve website organisation to support app discovery and user experience.

French banking giant Crédit Agricole has created an app store to provide banking apps to customers and get ideas from customers for new banking apps. Crédit Agricole has 150,000 employees and 51 million customers. 

The Crédit Agricole Store puts developers in touch with the bank's customers, who download any apps they want and make suggestions for new ones. Apps cover customers' activity including checking balances and transferring funds. One of Crédit Agricole's apps helps visually impaired people use online banking.

Gartner’s prediction of 25% of banks having an app store by 2016 is similar to its prediction for enterprises as a whole. By 2017, Gartner expects 25% of enterprises to have developed their own app stores and to be negotiating with software suppliers for products that can be added to the ecosystem.



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With banks needing to compete
more and more on service as well as product, any investment into customer
banking apps whether public or through a public facing banking app store would
need to be sustained so that the brand is maintained throughout, apps are
secure and well supported. Any public facing banking app store would need to
ensure there are strict publishing guidelines, whether apps are produced by the
banks themselves or through a banking API.