One of the fallacies in modern times is that a website alone is adequate enough to guarantee success in business. The SEO world is rife with arguments otherwise, and such a notion is just as relevant for financial websites as it is for a platform that is marketing even the most viral of items. Most of us have heard that hyperlinks to social media sites, blog posts and microsites are all quite important and this is, of course, completely valid. Still, there are many sites that are failing to capitalise on a new trend that has only recently taken hold in the online community: the smartphone application.
The Rise of the Smartphone App
An “app” is simply an icon on a modern mobile device that performs a certain function. These can range from calculating the number of miles run in a day to even telling the user which constellations may appear in the sky during any given night of the year. However, there are many apps that are highly functional and critical for customer and business interaction.
The financial world will often offer such apps as a part of a CRM (customer relations management) platform. For example, an IFA website may provide an app that will keep a client abreast of when tax files are due. A wealth management application may aid in helping the user budget his or her monthly cash flow and expenditures. The bottom line is that the sheer number and variety of these handy little programs is growing by the day and the most trending financial websites will offer these to paying subscribers.
A good deal of the popularity of the modern mobile financial application is directly related to the fact that a growing number of users will access the Internet while out and about. Thus, they will much rather prefer a streamlined access to the site and whatever amenities may be offered. This only makes sense, for a lengthy login session may indeed be less than optimal for those who lead busy lives.
Also, offering a mobile app is an excellent marketing tool that can be displayed within any sales package. These highly functional icons that utilise 3G and 4G technology are quickly proving to be just as popular as traditional links to social media sites and this trend is only expected to quicken in its pace into the foreseeable future.
Another feature that these apps will provide is the ability for the user to securely log in to his or her online account within a specific site. Most modern applications utilise SSL encryption technology (some of the most robust and advanced in the industry). In other words, all information will remain secure and should the phone be lost or stolen, the application can simply be deactivated by accessing the homepage of the website.
With all this talk about smartphone applications, it may be easy to forget that the core functions of any IFA website design need to address the user’s individual needs clearly and concisely. Still, the advent of these 21st century applications has already led to many changes in the user’s interaction with the Internet and this popular trend is not going away any time soon.