Coutts has rolled out its first mobile app a year after launching its online banking platform, but clients will have to wait until next year for a full integration of mobile services.

Coutts’ global head of client & front office solutions, Joe Norburn said Coutts the mobile app works accross all smartphone models, including Iphone, Google Androids and BlackBerry sources.

Speaking exclusively to PBI, Norburn explained the strategy behind the mobile app launch: "As we were one of the first banks to get on social media, the driver behind the app launching was to give both choice and convenience to all our clients, and enable them to make banking transactions whilst they are on-the-go."

He added, "Supporting the brand through digital channels now enables us to offer banking with a modern twist."



"Roadmap integration of all content in 2013"

Coutts’ app is focused on the most used transactional activities or "day-to-day banking" such as fund transfers, borrowing and dealing with investment portfolios.

Clients will have to wait until 2013 for a full integration of features such as wealth management services and an automated translation service.

"The service is in English for this launch, but the translation of key languages of our client base, and our key international markets, will be launched later next year, "said Norburn.

He added, "In 2013, Coutts will also launch an app for tablets, whose bigger screen size allows more interactive content for wealth management services."

Though dates are yet to be disclosed, Coutts will also integrate its Knowledge Exchange to its App services later next year, with deeper features and more video content, according to Norburn.



Security: payments restricted "on-the-go"

The security approach Coutts first introduced 14 years ago, with its token-based devices, is not needed for Coutts Mobile.

According to Norburn, "Clients don’t want to take their token out to allow them to use their mobile app and make payments, but they still need to indentify themselves online initially, to be able to be a mobile user of the service."

To enable Coutts’ customers to use the features boasted by the app, clients will have to go through a registration process on Coutts’ website in real time to set themselves up on their mobile device.

"Security comes first, we want to know who they say they are," said Norburn.



Day-to-day banking features

The new app ensures Coutts’ clients have access to a continuing level of information, said Norburn.

"While the app is looking to deepen the relationship with our clients, it is not a replacement for the other channels such as the face-to-face with bankers. The app is just complementary," he added.

UK’s second-largest private bank already offers some analyst content and research material exclusive to the bank through Knowledge Exchange, a closed private online network featuring insights across a range of topical and financial subjects, and directed at entrepreneurs, family businesses and other clients.

Norburn said Knowledge Exchange allows clients to interact between themselves and Coutts to connect with those clients directly through the channel, but the new Coutts Mobile app does not yet offer a personalised security messaging platform, or any equivalent of video calling features such as Skype.



Research based on clients’ ideas

Norburn said it the bank had developed its app after a series of focus groups and online surveys looking into their client base and their requirements.

"They came up with brilliants ideas," said Norburn. "We talked to our clients and their bankers to find out how to improve their repetitive actions online."

Norburn added the bank had also commissioned independent research from peer groups and other competitive mobile services on the market.