• Thu. Dec 1st, 2022

10 years later: The evolution of the HSBC mobile app

ByCindy J. Daddario

May 13, 2022

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the launch of HSBC’s mobile banking apps. From its humble beginnings as a quick balance checker, it now offers everyday banking services in your pocket.

For many, mobile banking is such an ingrained feature of modern life that it’s hard to imagine an era without it. Whether it’s sending money to a friend to split the bill, checking that your monthly paycheck has been paid, or transferring that extra bit of money to your savings account, most transactions Daily financials can now be done with a simple swipe.

Plus, your bank’s app can now help you achieve medium to long-term goals like investing to buy your first home or planning for retirement.

All innovation starts somewhere, and it may or may not be surprising that our first app mirrors the functionality of the humble cash machine.

In 2012, we launched one of the first major bank apps. “Fast Balance” was – as the name suggests – an app that saved your debit card, used your credentials to show your balance and the last six transactions, but had the added functionality of recharging your cell phone. Although not feature-rich, the app filled a gap in the market and adoption was rapid.

By the following year, over one million customers had signed up for Fast Balance. Now HSBC and others had the feature allowing customers to see more than one account and other products such as credit cards, savings etc.

Users could also see a longer list of transactions, within the last 90 days. These updates were part of HSBC’s Mobile 1.5 application and as its user base grew, Fast Balance was discontinued.

In 2014, we began issuing our customers a secure digital key that generates a one-time password, adding an extra layer of security. We signed up for the mobile payment system, Paym, so customers could send money to an individual’s mobile phone number if they didn’t have their account details.

In 2015, the app was faster and offered access to more products – customers could apply for a personal loan in minutes and a cash loyalty ISA was just “one click away”.

We reached two million users in 2016 and, initially launched on Apple and Android, the app became available on Blackberry, Windows and Amazon devices in 2017.

The latest version – Mobile X – allowed customers to send money to a new recipient using their secure digital key for authentication.

In 2018, the PSD2 legislation came into effect, marking the start of the open banking revolution. HSBC Connected Money was launched, allowing customers to see accounts from different providers in one place. The app introduced a new feature to help users manage their money; Balance after bills showed customers how much funds they had left after their monthly expenses.

As open banking slowly became more “business as usual”, Connected Money was removed and key features such as Balance after Bills were integrated into the main HSBC app. Meanwhile, to support our vulnerable customers, we have introduced the option to self-exclude all gaming transactions.

With the pandemic affecting our customers and employees, in 2020 we introduced features to help people bank remotely, such as canceling standing orders and direct debits, paying credit cards and increasing overdraft limits. Users could view pending card transactions and receive notifications of new transactions for the first time. The following year, we introduced a new feature to help people invest in just five steps.

In our tenth year, we introduced new security credentials to make it easier to log in to mobile banking and reduce the risk of lockout. Customers can now set up a six-digit Digital Secure Key PIN and access the app on multiple different devices.

There’s also an in-app chat feature to help you make payments, an option to close loans via mobile, and pay registered vendors for goods and services through the app, without entering their details. card at checkout.

Today, we have five million active users and our customers log in an average of 23 times per month.

What will the next ten years bring?

Mobile experiences will focus on personalization, automation and added value. Expect to customize your app to suit your financial needs. Products, services, offers and suggestions will be based on who you are and how you spend, invest and interact, using data we already know about our customers.

Day-to-day transactional banking will be more or less fully automated and tailored to customer preferences, meaning customers can focus on medium to long-term financial goals such as savings and investing.

Open banking will continue to evolve and customers should not only be able to make HSBC banking decisions within the app, but across their non-HSBC financial services and beyond.

One thing is certain, the demand for digital journeys will only increase and banks have every chance of offering an innovative customer experience.

Matt Turner is Head of Digital at HSBC UK