I recently came across yet another mobile report touting the need for today’s banks to get on board and start offering mobile services to customers. It detailed how customers across Europe, Asia and other developed and under-developed countries are asking for mobile capabilities to manage their accounts and it talked about the clamoring for a ‘multi-channel nirvana.’

Why is it taking so long?

For one thing, within banks, the discussion for the last several years has been caught up in legacy terminology and legacy thinking that has gone along with their legacy systems. But to truly figure out why adoption is happening so slowly you need to step away from the issue of whether or not banks are allowing mobile access and ask other questions. When you do this, it appears, the real problem for banks is not deciding if, or, why they should offer mobile services but rather what kind of mobile ‘customer experience’ they need to provide. This is coupled with the question of how banks will prepare their systems to connect in the future with the tech savvy under 35s or ‘generation text’. It’s this performance anxiety, it would seem, which is dragging mobile banking service offerings down. “If we haven’t been able to do it by now, it must be difficult”– goes the thinking.

The good news for banks, however, if they go looking for it, is that so many changes have occurred on the software development and user-experience level since the launch of the first iPhone and the rise of Facebook that the questions of the past have become irrelevant. With the right software,  providing a satisfying and complete user-experience for their customers is now, from a technical standpoint at least, relatively easy. Useful tools like tablet widgets and touch screen applications that help to provide the kinds of interactions that customers want, are taking over. The costs have come way down. The facts, it would seem, speak for themselves. As always, however, facts are open to interpretation.

The real hold up then? Thankfully, it’s only one  of perception.