Twenty percent of businesses will have dumped their mobile apps by next year, it has been predicted, as firms move further towards chatbots and artificial intelligence to communicate with customers.

Research by Gartner Inc has found that by 2019, 20 percent of companies will “abandon” their apps due to a lack of customer engagement. Brands are finding the mobile apps are not meeting the level of adoption initially expected, and are turning their attention towards establishing a presence with popular messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

However, the change in preferred customer communication is likely to hit the banking sector before most others, according to Antoine Hemon-Laurens, Customer Experience Expert at Quadient.

“As Open Banking and PSD2 will lead to banks providing services across whichever platforms their customers want, it makes sense that they will focus less on their own dedicated websites and apps,” he said.

“This is underlined by Gartner’s statement that by 2019 20 per cent of brands will abandon their mobile apps; financial services is a prime example of an industry where the form of digital channels used to interact with customers is evolving.

The new rules set out in Open Banking and PSD2 mean the days of digital banking being carried out within the secure walls of their proprietary website are behind us, as customers can now dictate to banks which channels work best for them. In practice, this could see them contacting a bank on Facebook messenger and asking them to display all of the accounts they hold (across different providers) and transfer money between them, or even manage them by taking out a short-term loan from one bank to pay off an overdraft with another.

This potential for customers to use whichever digital platform they want for their banking services means that banks are likely to place much less of a focus on their own websites and apps than they have to date.”

The changes should not pose a threat, however, as Antoine explained:

“The key to success as this change comes is treating it as an opportunity rather than a threat; by providing banking services over social media sites, for example, they can provide a great customer experience by allowing people to make transactions without having to ever visit the official banking site or app.”

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