At this year’s FFWD2014 Advertising and Marketing Week, the Royal Bank of Canada announced the launch of electronic money transfer through Facebook Canada’s messenger. RBC believes mobile commerce needs to be for all customers, on all phones, with all carriers and include value added solutions – with all the security they expect from a financial institution. We were excited to catch up with Head of Emerging Payments at RBC, Jeremy Bornstein to learn more about RBC’s plans for innovation today and moving forward.
Q. When it comes to innovation, what is the biggest area of focus for RBC?
We’re the first bank in the world that allows you to pay not only with credit, but also with domestic debit. Within seconds of opening RBC Mobile Banking for the first time, you can add your RBC debit and credit cards to ensure that you have that choice at point of sale. RBC Mobile Banking clients are able to purchase goods and services with either their RBC Interac Debit or Visa credit cards using their Bell Mobility Android smartphone.
Q. How are you driving acquisition, engagement and loyalty through emerging payments?
There are different elements to consider here. It’s not about being first with certain capabilities to market, it’s about delivering the best solutions to our clients. Over time, we will continue to deliver the best capabilities and solutions for our clients. The RBC Wallet officially launched to the general public earlier this year but, has been in market since the fall of 2013 through the RBC Road Test, which involved providing a phone and access to services –real and future – to a cross section of customers, merchants, network operators, acquirers and RBC employees. Their engagement and feedback helped shape future capabilities of the RBC Wallet. In fact, the current solution has incorporated much of their feedback. The focus on innovation is about applying next generation capabilities in the most secure way possible. More broadly, we are trying to make it easier for clients to interact with RBC products and services.
Q. How are you using mobile channels as a differentiator?
The position that we’ve taken is security and we think it’s a big one; we take security very seriously. Also, choice; this is the message we are giving both to merchants as well as consumers that we’re standing behind. We are continually enhancing and refining our mobile commerce solution to meet our clients’ needs, while ensuring the safety and security of our clients’ personal and financial information.
Q. It seems that every bank in Canada is in the race to create a mobile wallet, particularly the telecommunication companies. Why do you think this is?
I think it’s exciting that there are a lot of players working on bringing mobile wallets to the hands of consumers. We have well over 25% penetration of contactless terminals in Canada and many of the largest merchants are enabled. We believe that the plastic card in your wallet is very efficient, very effective and very simple. We are working closely with a series of merchants to deliver clients their stores, to provide them with targeted offers and help clients increase their loyalty and get a really rewarding experience. Mobile is more than just a matter of taking your phone out and tapping it.
Q. How do you think banking behaviour in Canada specifically will be effected mobile in the next 5 years? Where do you see the industry headed?
A. That’s difficult to say, but if I were to wager at some point I’d say it’d all be centered on the mobile phone. One view, [let’s look 2 years out] is that roughly 50% of our clients will interact with us primarily through mobile and that number is going to dramatically grow. We will provide a very rich experience for clients to be able to not only interact with merchants effectively but also with their budgets, banking, and many of the traditional services that we would do today through a branch.