RBC Mobile: A Canadian Online Banking Innovator
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.
How changing your company's software code can prevent bias
Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day.
Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization.
Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.
Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?
We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization
What impact can exclusive terms have on employees?
Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.
Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code
Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!
What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?
What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.
What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology?
My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve.