The apparent problem in the Bank of America case study is that Jen McDonald (head of the Bank of America digital marketing group), and Douglas Brown (senior vice president of mobile product development) received requests to create mobile apps more specific for individual businesses as a way to gain leverage (Supta & Herman, 2012). Brown, specifically, was hesitant to add additional mobile app features as he feared it would make the application far too complex. Not only would it prove to be difficult for some users to understand, more features often make applications run more slowly, which could complicate the idea of mobile banking. In addition this could possibly give the customer a more negative experience. To cite the problem specifically, Brown stated “App complexity has led to some high-profile failures in the market place. This carries a huge risk” (Supta & Herman, 2012). Furthermore, Bank of America was provided $20 billion in capital from the United States government during the financial crisis under leadership of CEO Kenneth Lewis (Supta & Herman, 2012). Lewis had concerns that certain investors and customers would start to correlate Bank of America with Citigroup, who had previously given up 36% of its ownership to the federal government (Supta & Herman, 2012). This resulted in Brian Moynihan (head of consumer and small business banking) taking over as CEO on January 1, 2010 (Supta & Herman, 2012). Constraints and available options
One of Bank of America’s options was to create different apps to target different groups and market segments, which proved to be somewhat of a risk. Not only was the organization concerned for the customers reaction, Bank of America was also hesitant because mobile apps are costly and in doing so, technology resources would be taken from other essential areas of banking such as online banking and atm machines.
At this time customers were not completely trusting in working with their banks, as financial struggles were becoming more and more apparent. In order to give theBank of America the trusted name and customer loyalty it had previously held for so long, executives decided Mobile banking was the right path to take in order to save the company. Analysis and Evaluation
The bank of America officially launched their mobile banking application in May of 2007. This included the ability to bank on the customers phones either by application or by accessing the mobile web through their phones browser. Douglas Brown confirmed that the success of the mobile application was astounding as the company gained four million mobile banking customers over the time span of less than three years (Supta & Herman, 2012). Because of the high level of success, business managers were eager to update the applications, in an effort to raise the level of functionality even higher. This proved to be a decision that had to be carefully considered by the Bank of America corporate team. Strengths:
The Bank of America already holds the title of being one of the most prestigious banks and a leading company in the U.S. Because of their household name, marketing new products prove to be fairly easy; however identifying a product that customers will adopt and figuring out the target market are essential to Bank of America’s success.
An additional strength of the mobile banking application was the timing in correlation to the launch of the application and the launch of the iPhone, making Bank of America the first bank to be able to offer a banking application on the iPhone. The most used features of mobile banking came from viewing account balances and viewing transaction details, making debit card holders the most popular users. After the mobile banking launch more customers opened checking accounts in the months of the introduction of mobile banking and did in fact use the application during that time. Weaknesses:
A weakness shown by Bank of America proved to be...