What do Apple’s iOS 15 and iPhone 13 Announcements Mean for Mobile Banking and Digital Banking?
Every year, millions anxiously await Apple’s announcements. Although a bit earlier in September than usual and virtual (thanks to COVID), the recent Apple Event included its usual fanfare like aerial drone shots, celebrity endorsements, app developers showcasing their cool new apps, and awesome images taken with their latest devices. As expected, there were tons of new features and enhancements, pricing changes, and new innovations announced. For consumers the thought of “what’s new” is always intriguing, but for app developers, planning for changes within their existing apps is important, along with the intrigue around new iOS capabilities that can be leveraged to engage their audiences.
But, the key question in everyone’s mind now that the event has concluded is whether an upgrade to the latest device or iOS warrants the price tag. And, if I put on my “work hat” for a moment, what do these innovations mean for mobile and digital banking? Let’s take a deeper dive and explore what banks and credit unions need to know.
First, what’s new:
- The iPhone 13 was unveiled. At first reveal, the iPhone 13 seems similar to the iPhone 12 but brighter, with a better camera (including cinematic video mode), improved battery life, a larger screen, new colors, and a faster charge. The best feature of the new iPhone seems to be a faster screen refresh (120 hz) on some selected devices, which translates to perceived speed.
- The iPad Mini was redesigned and the iPad Pro includes some innovative updates.
- Apple announced meaningful hardware changes, like USB-C ports in most iPad devices, new A15 bionic chips, powerful cameras to compete with Android devices and digital cameras, and a MagSafe accessory rather than traditional chargers.
- The Apple Watch Series 7 was launched - a larger smartwatch with a curved screen design to help with readability.
- Within iOS 15, the URL bar is moved to the bottom of the Safari browser and the ‘refresh’ button has been removed. Apple added several other features in this new operation system that are ‘inspired’ by Android, but also introduced functionality that may eventually make some other software vendors obsolete!
- Unfortunately those hoping for new wearables or a new category of devices (to compete with Facebook’s smart glasses!) did not get their wish this time.
Apple is one of those companies that learns from their competitors and although not always first to market, they almost always do it better than everyone else. Time will tell if these hardware changes and upgrades will be viewed favorably. Although Apple didn’t introduce any breakthrough innovation, it’s clear they have been listening to and addressing user complaints, as well as addressing competitive Android capabilities.
How can these new iOS capabilities and devices be applied to mobile banking and digital banking?
Better customer and member services. Apple introduced a range of collaboration features, such as FaceTime calls with Android users, SharePlay so you can watch a video with a friend, co-browsing, application screen sharing, and video chat. Initially these features look like enhancements for entertainment, but it is possible that banks and credit unions will leverage these capabilities for better customer and member support and to improve communication - both remote banking and branch transformation efforts.
Text and data recognition. Apple released a new text recognition feature, similar to that of Google Lens, with the ability to extract details of an object or text from within a photo. Traditionally, third-party software apps have provided banks and credit unions with these functionalities, such as those that extract a car’s VIN number from a photo and prefill a loan application, or perform expense reporting by capturing data from receipts. Can app developers now leverage Apple’s new APIs to achieve the same within mobile banking apps?
Native functionality vs. third-parties add-ins. Features like voice recognition, beacons (when branches identify a customer or member nearby and send a promotional ad) and two-factor authentication aren’t new to banking, and have been leveraged for some time. However, now that Apple introduced these features directly into iOS 15, banks and credit unions have the opportunity to leverage them more quickly and at a much lower cost, as well as to receive support from Apple.
Personalization. There are several other interesting capabilities in iOS 15, such as the concept of personalization modes: work mode, fun mode, and so on, as well as notifications that include pictures and images. Although difficult to predict the “who” and “how” app developers will leverage these features, customers and members should certainly be ready to see interesting apps in the future that capitalize on personalization for a better user journey and more targeted banking experience.
Apple is known for their innovation and a fully connected ecosystem of well-orchestrated products and services, so these new devices and features will certainly be followed by an even more interesting iOS 16 announcement mid next year. Let’s get ready for the ride!
At Alogent, our digital banking team includes dedicated team members focused on native mobile user experiences, and development teams that closely monitor industry announcements, innovations, and changes – just like these from Apple. We’re here to support you every step of the way from discovery to go-live.
Sitting at the heart of a financial institution’s digital ecosystem, NXT lowers the total cost of ownership for banks and credit unions and delivers a secure, flexible, and customizable digital banking platform that marries mobile, digital and voice banking for consumers and businesses. With a single, SDK-driven platform, modern tech stack, open architecture and robust set of pre-built integrations banks and credit unions elevate the user journey and drive engagement with a robust digital ecosystem packed with data insights and reporting.
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