Financial services: Sort our your mobile banking apps

Delivering a first-class mobile banking service to customers relies on multiple applications and IT systems working seamlessly. The latest string of mobile banking app glitches should serve as a strong reminder to organisations that having robust analytics and application performance management solutions in place is crucial to ensuring customer satisfaction in today's digital economy.

Lost transactions not only result in lost revenue for banks, but have a detrimental impact on customer loyalty and brand reputation – it's a lose-lose situation. And when problems occur, end-to-end transaction transparency in real time is crucial to quickly identifying and repairing performance glitches. Without such transparency, banks are looking for a needle in a haystack.

Additionally, in the new world of apps, which are increasingly at the centre of the digital universe, to ensure customers have 24/7 access to key services banks should seriously consider using analytics technology to understand customer behaviour patterns.

Such technology has the capability of providing banks with the data they need to predict and prepare for surges, such as payday in this case. With the correct application performance management and analytics solutions in place, data centres will be able to adequately support online services and prevent these types of problems in the future.

Unfortunately, performance glitches are not uncommon and will continue to increase unless businesses readdress how they manage business critical IT applications and infrastructure. For financial organisations that rely on highly-distributed cloud applications, below are three considerations on how APM can be used to mitigate risk:

Customer Loyalty

With applications playing a dominant role as the most common interaction between company and customer, it is imperative that customers have a great experience every time they visit a website or use a mobile app. Slow transactions, errors, and unavailable platforms leave customers dissatisfied and will reduce your loyalty rate. Banks should be using application performance management software to track every transaction in order to recognise when and where problems occur, so issues can be fixed automatically.

In today's digital economy, every bank customer expects a seamless browsing experience and uninterrupted service. Losing a customer due to poor application performance and stability is preventable. An important first step is to gain a better understanding of the components involved in each servicing each transaction, in order to achieve adequate troubleshooting and problem resolution.

Revenue Growth

Better performance has a positive impact on customer loyalty which in turn impacts revenue gain. If we accept the premise that performance should be top-of-mind for anyone with a critical banking or financial services application, what to do next? How do we improve our application management strategy to prevent loss of revenue and improve customer loyalty? The answer: by taking on a transaction-based approach to application performance management.

Banks can use APM software to track the performance of all transactions, dynamically baselining the normal performance, and alerting when transactions deviate from their normal behaviour. In this manner, performance problems can be identified in their initial stages, rather than reaching the point where customers become frustrated and up sticks.

Transactions = Money

Transactions are the lifeblood of banking, from making an online payment or converting currency to buying or selling stock. Furthermore, a significant portion of banks' revenue comes from transaction fees for activities ranging from ATM withdrawals to currency conversion and credit card usage. For these fee-based transactions, the faster you can ring the cash register (response time of business transactions), the more money you will make and the better likelihood that your customer will come back to you for their next transaction.

APM software provides context that enables you to understand the business impact of failed and/or slow transactions. The data gathered by APM software can be used to focus on improving functionality that is used most often or responsible for the most revenue. With this in mind, it is imperative that organisations take a user-centric, or rather, transaction-centric approach to managing application performance.

Tom Levey is the EMEA tech evangelist for AppDynamics, an application performance management company based in San Francisco.