New app technologies behind the surge for mobile banking staff, as 42 percent of HR Directors at banks expect mobile banking to provide the most new jobs. Retail banks are expecting mobile banking to generate the biggest increase in pay rates for staff in 2013, according to BrightPool, the specialist financial services recruiter.
In a survey conducted by BrightPool, 30 percent of retail banking HR Directors said that the introduction and use of mobile payments would generate the biggest pay rises for banking employees in 2013. 42 percent of HR Directors surveyed said that mobile banking would create the most new jobs (see table for full results). Angela Hickmore, Managing Director at BrightPool, comments: “Mobile banking technology is progressing at an incredibly rapid pace. All of the banks will have recognised this, as well as recognising the necessity to invest heavily in the technology so that they can try to stay one step ahead of their competition.” Traditionally it is quite tough for banks to poach customers, who tend to develop a sense of brand loyalty, through the traditional High Street method, thanks to the paperwork and hassle associated with switching bank accounts. Developing a better mobile banking system or app is now the best way to get ahead of the curve and attract new customers.”
BrightPool says that whilst internet banking is a sector that is still expected to generate plenty of new banking jobs over the next year as more and more people turn to internet banking, there is a growing number of staff who are familiar with internet banking systems. This means that their skills are not as highly sought after as mobile banking workers. Angela Hickmore explains: “Compared to internet banking, mobile banking is still a relatively new technology so anybody that is an expert in the field is likely to be a precious commodity and therefore in high demand. It is a win-win situation for mobile banking experts. Retail banks are keen to invest in the technology in order to attract as many new customers as possible. Since there are still comparatively few experts about, retail banks are willing to pay higher rates in order to attract the perfect employee.”
“Simply put, for mobile banking experts, high demand is going to generate higher wages.” BrightPool says that whilst there is an increased focus on mobile banking, traditional branch banking is experiencing something of a decline, which is not just down to the explosion in online banking. Under EU competition laws, several of the bigger banks have been forced to sell off branches to guard against the threat of a retail banking oligopoly in the UK. For example, Lloyds is being forced to sell off 632 branches and is in prolonged negotiations with The Co-operative Bank in an attempt to seal a deal. Angela Hickmore says: “Being forced to sell off hundreds of branches means it’s highly unlikely that the big banks will view branch banking as a growth area. However, specialist staff who can assist with divestment and integration work are benefitting from the forced sales.”