Nokia's "app gap" ad misses one key point
Don’t get me wrong, I do not believe in the grand scheme, the app gap is as bad as some folks make it out to be, but that is really related to personal entertainment and social networking. Let's be honest, the Windows Phone application catalog is not as robust as what can be found for iOS and Android, especially when it comes to banking, and that issue is a huge thorn in the side of Windows Phone.
The top ten banks in the US hold about 46% of the market share by depositors. Of the top ten, only three have dedicated apps for Windows Phone, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase. The other seven on the list, Citibank, US Bank, PNC Bank, Capital One, TD Bank, BB&T, and SunTrust Bank all offer at least an iOS compatible app, many support Android and some even offer BlackBerry compatible apps.
That is a big deal, and frankly I am a bit amazed that Microsoft has not done everything, up to and including developing applications itself or creating a clearinghouse dedicated to bringing such applications to bear in cooperation with these institutions. When you consider the top five banks alone hold over $8 trillion in assets and $4.5 trillion in deposits, it represents a distinct market, pretty much everyone and how they manage, deposit and access their money. Money.
The trend of Windows Phone support, or lack thereof, continues down the list of major banks in the US. I didn’t look too much at Europe because I knew deep down it was probably the same. Deutsche Bank, the largest bank in Germany has an app for Windows Phone, but number two, Commerzbank does not. Lloyds Banking and HSBC in the UK? No such luck.
Customers for life
Meet the most prominent banks with apps for Windows Phone
Consider USAA. This bank started serving, and continues to serve members of the military, their families and dependents. The customer base is fiercely loyal. Exactly a year ago, USAA pulled its official Windows Phone app prompting a somewhat small, but vocal response of displeasure from its customers. Last December, USAA took the wraps off a brand new app for Windows Phone.
Let’s pretend for a moment that USAA did not do that though. Over whatever time measurement you want, do you think the customers would have left USAA due to no Windows Phone app, or left Windows Phone to get mobile service on iOS or Android? It is a no-brainer of an answer and thank goodness USAA did not put that decision on its customers for the long term.
The same holds true for members of credit unions. For those that do not know what a credit union is, it is generally smaller, more localized, and not run for profit. Savings accounts are called “share accounts” because instead of “loaning” to the institution (the way an account works for a bank), you are basically buying ownership in the credit union. Because of their size, credit unions have even fewer mobile choices.
More than half of US depositors have spread their service demands across more than 300 separate banks, not including credit unions, and it makes up a deposit base that is bigger than the GDP of any other country.
Here is a wide gap
I randomly picked a “smaller” bank from a list of the top 300 banks in the US (with “only” $6 billion in deposits), #128 on the list is Old National Bank. Guess which mobile environments are supported. Then I went to #197, Centennial Bank based in Conway, Arkansas. Guess which mobile environments are supported. #220, Sandy Spring Bank in Olney, Maryland. Guess which mobile environments are supported. Finally, I picked #289, Old Second National Bank in Aurora, Illinois. Guess which mobile environments are supported.
It is not a stretch to say that most, if not all, of these banks did not hire a team of their own developers to build their own app. They contract with industry service companies that specialize in information processing for banks and other financial institutions, and that is what most of these iOS and Android apps for these smaller banks seem to be. In the Windows Phone store, the banks that have an app for Windows Phone were all published by that bank.
Apps are not just about apps
Capital One's banking app incorporates pattern lock as a security feature
Capital One's banking app incorporates pattern lock as a security feature
If Microsoft and Nokia are serious about really closing the app gap, getting the banks on board is a cornerstone that cannot be ignored. Yes, I know there are other “important” apps that are obscure to the mainstream, but important for that niche customer that can find their favorite basket weaving app. In fact, it can be argued that just about any app is utterly useless until it is needed and used by an individual. Then, the ability to add that app to a person’s smartphone expands the functionality of that device. That makes the device more useful and becomes a hook into that customer keeping that device, or at least staying with that operating platform.
So, while Nokia’s “app gap” ad is reassuring, and correct to a point, the fact that a consumer can use Instagram on whatever phone they want, but cannot pay bills, make deposits or handle their personal finances, indeed, the decision process becomes simpler. While mobile web-pages work just fine, we know that model does not withstand marketing scrutiny or reality.
Follow the money
The market model supports the idea that customers who feel they have access to their money and financial positions feel more in control, more secure. Nothing is more mainstream than money. If you are going to capture and entice customers, you need to follow the money. If you are going to follow the money, you got to look at banks. Banks have money.
references: The Finance Buff, The Wall Street Journal and relbanks.com
1. AfterShock (Posts: 2985; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)
I could be wrong but I thought bulk of wp sales were pay an go type phones like the 520…?
If so, I'd hardly be worried about making a app for them. No of fence, just saying.
11. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3562; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)
Why should they care what type of device is being used?
15. microsoftnokiawin (Posts: 1043; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)
what he's trying to say why make a banking app for a platform that is mostly filled with a phone for a cheap consumer that doesn't want to spend alot !
key word here is spend!
31. Finalflash (Posts: 1912; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)
Then those phones better make their lives easier but if it doesn't then you lose them as well. They are the pioneers for your side, to say screw them isn't a good business strategy. for that matter It is the poorer group that wants more control of their finances usually because the rich don't need to care. So the market that needs it must does not have it.
35. AfterShock (Posts: 2985; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)
Pay an go type clients have no credit usually.
To the other below..
Do tell what bank wants to save you money on their services?
Its better for banks to nickel an dime you on minor services such as ATM, transfers etc.. They're not in it to benefit you, ever.
36. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3562; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)
Are you saying that he's saying they don't want to make a banking app for people who would not have as much money as others, and wouldn't make bigger, or as many, purchases?....
What?.... Give the dude some amount of credit.. Nobody would say, or suggests, something that stupid.
47. tadaa (Posts: 258; Member since: 18 Apr 2013)
Dude has a point, its logical and no, it is not stupid. I'd tell you phones like these sell by the boatload on developing countries and people, like from my place, would rather use cash than credit.
61. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
it sucks, true, but that is what business do, nowadays...frack the banks..lol
18. sgodsell (Posts: 1437; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)
Well considering that the majority of models from Nokia are WVGA (800x480). The 520 just happens to have that size of a display. Like the 525, 620, 625, 720, 810, 820. Not to mention all the WP7 WVGA devices.
64. NOLATechy (Posts: 17; Member since: 08 Nov 2013)
Are you kidding or just stupid!? The bulk of the sales of Windows Phones are not the lower 520. The newer sales are that of the 920, 925, 1020, 1520, Icon an soon the 930, 630 and 635. These phones are NOT cheap!
2. -box- (Posts: 3879; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
This is quite a good point, however the plus side to being with a local bank or credit union (as I am), one can request an app for the mobile ecosystem and possibly have it built. When WP 7.5 launched I asked my credit union to build a compatible app, and by the time they were ready to launch it, they were releasing it for 7.8, but thankfully produced a follow-up app with WP8. It's their best-rated app from the four major mobile systems, and several local WP enthusiasts have switched to that CU because if the positive response and functionality if the app.
3. alterecho (Posts: 1091; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)
Spot on article.
"If Microsoft and Nokia are serious about really closing the app gap"
Its upto Nokia. Microsoft doesn't care for its customers. They hold out extremely important updates to fullfill their own business ambitions first.
They bank on the WP trolls to heap praise and fool others into believing that the OS is good.
Even if there was no app gap, the core OS itself is horrible. I really wonder who is responsible for the design of Windows Phone.
The apps that are there has the same monotonous design of the OS. Sometimes when i try to get away from the monotonous design, by opening a new app, i'm greeted by that same design and that long (but smooth) animation.
"some even offer BlackBerry compatible apps."
Then why isn't Blackberry featured in this site's monthly apps list?
One possible reason - Microsoft marketing has convinced everyone that Windows Phone is the 3rd OS of choice, when its not.
Microsoft doesn't take its users seriously... How they ditched its Windows Phone 7 users, like we were some target practice.
17. alterecho (Posts: 1091; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)
Its a bipolar UI.
Some like it, some don't.
I liked it...initially.
Then, after prolonged usage, i wanted it to go away.
Its like you're trapped in a box.
20. timukh (Posts: 199; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)
If it is so offending then why is every other company copying it?
28. timukh (Posts: 199; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)
umm for starters have u not seen the magazine ux of samsung and htc's blink feed??
30. Commentator (Posts: 2496; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
You mean the UIs that HTC made removable due to poor customer response, and that Google specifically requested Samsung back off of?
33. timukh (Posts: 199; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)
But they are still there right? HTC is still supporting the UI and samsung just shipped their all latest tablets with that UI! Look I am a nexus 4 user. But I dont see any reason to bash wp's UI! It would have really sucked if all the phones and tablets in the world looked exactly like the same with the exact same UI (icons)! Why is it so bad that someone is trying to do it differently? Anyway that is a personal opinion. But frankly I dont see any reason at all to bash wp's UI and I am glad that we have choices..
37. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3562; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)
Then why does he keep buying new devices?
56. TheGenius (Posts: 339; Member since: 06 Mar 2014)
Companies are offering them so that consumers can use them and realise how boring it is and since they'll have android they can customise it to their own preferences. . Not like wp where they are stuck.!
Mind you .. I myself switch to launcher 8 every 2-3 months because it gives a fresh feel .. and then change it back to stock or nova after a week or two because I get Bored.!
59. timukh (Posts: 199; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)
Android 4.1 was released in July 2012. Since then there has been hardly any "visible" changes in the OS. Most of them were under the hood ones! Its been almost 2 years and we still see phones releasing with android 4.1 or 4.2! So its not that only MS is slow. Every company takes time to build a software. I am a developer myself and I know that very well!
7. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3562; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)
Explain why you keep buying WP devices!!
What's your next device going to be??
16. alterecho (Posts: 1091; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)
I commited two mistakes.
1st - Samsung WP7:
-I was impressed by the smoothness, animations and the uniqueness.
2nd - Nokia WP8:
-Because of Nokia.
-Believed the slanders of WP fans, that the OS is fixed, compared to WP7.
I put it in points, since you don't seem to understand the several times i've explained before. Just like you don't seem to understand how Microsoft is using you.
40. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3562; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)
And, what's going to be your third excuse? Because Rodneyej talked you into it?... Please... Get real and quit your age old complaining... Have you considered Android?.. Quit complaining about your phone and do something about it! What are you going to do about it? What's your plan?.......
Yeah, you don't have one... Just whining, complaining, bashing, and worst of all trolling... When will you ever grow up and take responsibility?
I can't believe that you actually had the nerve to say that its WP fans that keep convincing you to keep buying WP devices.. Lol!.. You lost all credibility when you said that, and anyone who sides with you has got to be a ignorant troll..
YOU ARE A TROLL! AND NOTHING ELSE!!
22. Altair (Posts: 340; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)
Windows Phone OS is better and modern. All these "another row of icons, invented back in -90" can't be even comparedto WP. For example Android itself, it is just a stolen product. Now your little troll answer comes from brainwshed head saying: "it can be customized!" Yeah right, but it is not stock android anymore. Its just another row of icons modified by other ideas.
WP is the one moving forward, while copycats follows.
What comes to APP s, there are more than enough of them. I have like 40 apps installed in my Excellent Lumia 920, and I only really need 5-7 of them in daily basis.
24. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8922; Member since: 14 May 2012)
WP8 is barely releasing features iOS and Android had for awhile now lol... Let's not talk about copycat here. Now with that being said, it's a great OS, but there's nothing ATM that makes me want to jump ship ATM. Hopefully 8.1 changes that.
27. lyndon420 (Posts: 1786; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)
How is Android a stolen product when it was originally being developed for cameras? If it was indeed stolen then surely there must be an operating system out there that has been around 'longer' that must be able to out-do Android's capabilities. From a consumer's perspective, if WP was better and what everyone wanted, then we would all have one. Personally I find the UI of WP to be simply boring and looks like it was designed by some 5th grader.
43. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3562; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)
Then why are you here on this article?
They are talking about WP apps?
You don't care for, or like WP.... You are a troll!... What do you have to contribute towards helping the platform grow, and get better?... Have you personally made suggestions over the years to MS? Attended WP events?.. Talked directly with WP team members?.... No, you haven't.. Your only input is your worthless opinion about the start screen... So what are you hoping to accomplish??
Trolling is your objective..... Prove me wrong!.. I would love it, because then we'd have one less troll to deal with.
42. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3562; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)
It's simple... These are trolls!... They hate WP, but are on WP related articles arguing with WP fans about how they don't like WP.
......... How else could you explain what a troll is... If you disagree with what I just said then you are a petty, pathetic, lifeless, insecure TROLL!
62. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
I have no problems with Windows mobile OS, but Android is hardly just a row of icons - that would be Apple...
4. KenAdams (Posts: 55; Member since: 17 Feb 2014)
I agree there aren't many banking apps on WP, but as far as comparing BlackBerry's market share with WP, BB has about 1% market share worldwide, while WP has 3.4%. That's more than double. And in some countries, WP outsells the iPhone. Not that BB10 is a bad platform, but people have lost interest in BB. Even in its strongest market now i.e. Indonesia, they're losing market share. And with the introduction of WP8.1 in April, there will be more people flocking towards WP. Hence, WP is now well established as the 3rd most popular eco system, regardless of what ever haters may think.
8. Maxwell.R (Posts: 175; Member since: 20 Sep 2012)
Indeed, I am a fan, and own several Windows Phone devices. This was not a comparison with BlackBerry OS marketshare, but bank share. In the top 10 banks, there are more that offer BB support than WP. Again, my article was directed at Nokia's "App Gap" video, not BlackBerry.
Also, it isn't that there aren't "many" banking apps, it is virtually that there aren't **any** bank apps. I am not talking about financial apps that help with trading, etc., but honest to goodness apps from the bank you keep your money. It is a night-and-day difference, it is real. It isn't a 1,000-flashlight-app comparison.
14. alterecho (Posts: 1091; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)
Windows Phone marketshare was able claw some marketshare ONLY because of Nokia:
People trusted in Nokia. They were oblivious to the details Windows Phone.
Actually, it was Nokia's Lumia 520. It was extremely affordable and Android phones in that price bracket, were slow. People were impressed by the smoothness (including me) and assumed the features too must be good.
"Its appears smooth... It looks colorful... Its from a trusted brand... what could go wrong?" - A new smartphone buyer on trying out the 520.
Since the person is new to smartphones, they would be of the impression that thats what smartphones feel like, since they haven't tried the others. And since Androids in that price aren't as smooth as Windows Phone, they assume that Windows Phone is better than others. (i'm taking Android as an example since its the other OS available in that price bracket)
They may eventually turn into fanboys and spread the word that its good and disparage others.
49. elitewolverine (Posts: 2069; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)
So how samsung and droid worked into market share?
You make no sense here and just another troll comment.
Of all the droids there is still what like a 20-30% usage of android 2.xx, that system is 4ys old now....
6. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3562; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)
This is very true.. Banking apps are just a must!!!!
19. zuckerboy (banned) (Posts: 898; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)
yeah you asked me that And I said u that its not all about having great camera great speakers or dust resistant some apps are important. I believe most of the people buying apple for appstore
10. KenAdams (Posts: 55; Member since: 17 Feb 2014)
All the apps in an OS must adhere to the theme of the overall OS. Isn't Apple trying to convince developers to make their apps more iOS 7-esque, rather than the skeumorphist design with previous versions? Please stop complaining about all the small things wrong about WP like a baby. Every OS has its faults. And IMO, apps on WP look beautiful and sexy. I wish I has such design on my GS3. Hence, I'm moving to a WP8.1 handset soon after it releases.
12. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3562; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)
Alterecho... He's just a troll who's mad because he can't afford a 1520...
32. SleepingOz (unregistered)
So according to you, if someone doesn't like something, it's because he or she can't afford it. Damn! You just went full retard meg, again!
44. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3562; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)
You're a Troll... And he does want a 1520.. It'll be his next device... So, you came here to stand up for the other trolls.. Typical.
41. dratomic (Posts: 476; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)
you can only speak of "afford" if you lived in a country with no subsided phones. when you can buy a 750$ phone with a contract price of 200$. the word "afford" no longer has a meaning to me. its a matter of choice. even in my home country where people pay 2000$ for high end phone people do not chose phones based on affordability. i drive a maserati but im still using a gs2.
45. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3562; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)
No need for all your numbers.. Don't take things so literally.. It's a joke, dude..
57. elitewolverine (Posts: 2069; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)
Depends on the Maserati...just saying and if you bought it new and what year and model.
Anyone can claim to be an internet cash cow.
I did have choice, I chose both droid and wp, I use my wp far more than droid. I get tired of reboots, crashes, and google process errors. Yes it is a note 3, yes I have master reset, of the 4 note 3s that me and our pod has not one is problem free, in terms of what would tick me off.
I love the screen, the only thing stopping me from a 1520 or actually the icon, is it being on the wrong carrier.
13. VLaRueC (Posts: 132; Member since: 18 Dec 2012)
It's irreverent. Bank apps? Seriously? A year ago it was Instagram, now it's bank apps. I took my Windows Phone and used my browser to access my banks mobile site. Done. Bank apps? We're talking about bank apps...
21. hamboza (Posts: 8; Member since: 17 Oct 2012)
don't be surprised, some people will always find things to troll. when the banking apps gap gets fixed they'll find something else to complain about.
I Am not saying banking apps are not important, but that's subjective and does not kill a decision to buy a phone, unless you're too attached to that one specific app.
anyone considering switching to WP simply needs to visit it's app store and search for the apps important for him. I did just that yesterday since am thinking of switching for a Lumia 1520.
23. Altair (Posts: 340; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)
Well sayd. People are never happy. For those people who likes to follow crowd and avoid to be different. They will always drive the samekind of car (and color) than everyone else nearby. They will also feed that act by bashing everyone who wants to be different.
I just keep smiling to my friends (four of them, they all drive with a toyota and owning Shamesung G3) while taking my excellent yellow Lumia 920 out of my pocket. At that moment, none of them are looking at that grey plastic copycat device. ;)
50. elitewolverine (Posts: 2069; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)
Same here, my bank doesnt offer an app. But both full desktop and mobile site work flawlessly. So why do i need an app? Just another thing to install and get an icon for. I can already pin the IE shortcut to my startpage, walla instant app...
25. timezone (Posts: 83; Member since: 16 Jun 2013)
Not actually a bank app but there is one big miss supporting app. We recently got Mint but Manila is dragging their feet. They claim there are plans but it is too far down the priority list. Windows phone fans need to email them and ask why it is missing. I email corporations all the time asking where is the app. I also explain that Windows phone users spend more money than users from other platforms. Everyone needs to bug these companies.
29. muhsen (Posts: 268; Member since: 07 Jun 2012)
this is a regional tailored article . the US is no longer the corner stone in the smartphone world, it's developing markets.
u can see why Nokia, Microsoft, Samsung , Google, Apple...etc all their eyes r on india, china, africa. eastern europe. they even launch apps and services related to these markets. an obvious example is Microsoft's 4Africa initiative which launched many african important tailored apps. the problem is that Ms and Nokia started the race when the US smartphone market has become already almost saturated. Banking apps may indeed solve the app problem and push WP....but only in the us, but in other markets...pretty much less likely. this may divert resources where the main aim is to increase WP sales exponentially and that aim can no longer achieved in the Us. the US smartphone world became less OS oriented and more OEM oriented. it's mainly Samsung VS Apple. u can see HTC, LG and motorola r not really benefiting from android or "the Banking Apps" and their situation is not much better than Nokia's. and oh sony with their awesome devices running android which has plenty of Banking apps......it can't even ting in the US smartphone radar and it's in a very very bad shape compared to Nokia and WP in the US. at this point, the "banking apps" point seems really irrelevant.
51. elitewolverine (Posts: 2069; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)
shhhhh logic is not to be found on PA
55. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3562; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)
Exactly.. There's more people on this WP related article that hate WP, than that like it.... Stupid trolls!!!!!!
34. Liveitup (Posts: 1579; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)
WP is already the overall best OS in my opinion, its changed design language in general everybody is jumping on the Flat UI trend looking largely like Metro aka ModernUI knockoffs.
8.1 will bring in many android fans who asked for more flexibility, the haters are running scared.