AS banks shut down their quieter branches, the same time they are forcefully boosting their e-services provision. Take Danske Bank’s MobilePay, for example: with it, you can transmit money with your mobile phone just by signing in on the app, keying in the sum and the recipient’s phone number and clicking on Send.

“We launched MobilePay last December, making it available for customers of all banks. It has taken off really well; to date, over 50,000 have downloaded it already,” says Teppo Havo, Danske Bank’s Communication Manager in Finland.

Mobile banking is nothing new per se, but currently banks are able to provide a much more comprehensive offering than before. “Formerly, our mobile services were built up by stripping down our online banking solutions and only leaving the most essential services, so that it was possible to also use them with mobile phone browsers – if you had the patience for it,” Havo explains.

“Our current ‘Mobiilipankki’ – the Finnish name implying it’s only available in Finnish, but thus intuitive and visual, so you can use it with very basic Finnish skills – features not only the basic functions but also payment of invoices by way of photographing bar codes, a comprehensive investment section, personal economy monitoring tools and a lot more,” Havo continues. “You need a smart phone (iPhone, Android or Windows), and to use all of the services, you need to be a Danske Bank customer with an online banking agreement in place with us.”

Corresponding or similar solutions are also available from other banks – as well as other players such as the Finnish operator Elisa. The rapidly advancing digitalisation of banking services will also incorporate social media as one of the platforms, in one way or another. At least one Finnish bank is working on a prototype of a talking robot to take care of basic dealings with customers.

This battle for business is one that continues to be fought creatively.

Mika Oksanen