RBC Mobile: A Canadian Online Banking Innovator

By Bizclik Editor


Written by Sharad Ojha, Head, Mobile Channel Strategy – Digital Strategy & Experience, RBC Royal Bank


RBC Royal Bank was one of the first Canadian banks to offer banking through a mobile device.  We launched our RBC Mobile website in 2007 (www.rbc.mobi), allowing our clients easy access to their bank accounts from any mobile device that has Internet access.

Since 2007, mobile devices – and consumers’ expectations – have evolved significantly. Today, consumers are using their devices for much more than talking and texting. Canadians download a lot of apps on their mobile phones and they expect banks like ours to deliver the same rich user interface they see on other apps on their phone.

Keeping this in mind, RBC launched the first fully integrated apps for both iPhone and BlackBerry in December 2010 and the adoption of our mobile apps has far exceeded our expectations. To date, our RBC Mobile app has been downloaded over 700,000 times.

Our clients like the simplicity of the RBC app and they enjoy the freedom and convenience of banking anywhere, anytime, on their own schedule. The RBC app is highly rated by our clients – they value our focus on creating the best user experience, unique to their device.  For example, we developed visibly appealing icons and simplified process flows; we also offered services that leveraged device capabilities.

To highlight just some of the benefits, our fully integrated apps provide: quicker user accessibility; ability to incorporate device capabilities into our services; and offline view of personal financial information.

Currently, the RBC Mobile app allows clients to check their account balance and account details, provides the ability to transfer money between accounts, pay bills and send Interac e-Transfers.  Clients can also connect with the nearest RBC branch using the Branch and ATM Locator, which leverages the on-device GPS. 

We pride ourselves on recognizing the importance of listening to our clients. Based on client feedback, RBC has delivered enhancements to the mobile banking experience, including the ability to remember multiple client cards or USD support for certain payments and transfer interactions.  

We’ve found that Canadians download a lot of apps, but the majority of those apps are not used a second or third time. The apps are either deleted or placed on the last screen of the device. To continue to get the share of mind we believe the RBC Mobile app deserves, we strive to be more engaging and to deliver high value to our clients.

On average, over half a million clients using the RBC Mobile app; an average RBC Mobile client checks their account balance over 12 times a month.  This demonstrates to us that we’re continuing to deliver a combination of the right functionalities and an exceptional user experience – our clients are finding the RBC Mobile app of value and are using it whenever and whereeverthey are.

RBC and banks in general are moving away from simple content-driven apps to apps that are engaging and provide contextual information. Users download apps that are of interest; however the apps that are frequently used are the ones offering the most value and the best client experience.  RBC’s investments in the mobile infrastructure will allow us to release new functionalities relatively quickly and in a highly cost-effective manner – we’re building “smart” as we enhance our mobile channel to support multiple mobile platforms.

According to a recent study, over the past two years mobile banking adoption in Canada has grown to nineper cent of Canadian consumers who use online banking.  There are a number of reasons why mobile banking has become so popular. We are actually in a perfect storm of great consumer devices, faster networks, affordable data plans and a large supply of applications, which has resulted in tremendous traction for mobile banking.  

We expect mobile banking adoption rates to continue to grow, as more consumers adopt smartphones and new mobile banking functionalities are released that are relevant and provide value to the consumer.


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