Chapter 1 Consumer Empowerment Knocking at the Door How Mobile Is Reshaping Consumer Expectations in Financial and Retail

“The smartphone revolution is underhyped—more people have access to phones than access to running water. We’ve never had anything like this before since the beginning of the planet.”

—Marc Andreessen, Andreessen Horowitz

“Our job is to make mobile the answer to everything.”

—Eric Schmidt, Google

What happens when you equip billions of people with a computer in their pocket? Financial services and commerce will forever be reshaped. There are certain catalytic events that have such a major impact on consumer behavior that the downstream opportunities that come about create change at a much faster rate. Mobile is just such an event. Consumers are rapidly shifting to mobile as their primary computing device, with a staggering 51 percent of their Internet time happening through a smartphone or tablet!1 Yet we are still in the early stages of more dramatic changes that will come about as a result of the innate software and hardware combinations associated with mobile and tablet devices. The microphone, the camera, low-frequency Bluetooth, and biometrics will all have a significant and dramatic impact for financial institutions. Aman Narian, global head of digital with Standard Chartered Bank, sums up this vast uncharted territory well:

We are at the beginning of the beginning when it comes to mobile . . . we have still not used the hardware and software integration ...

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