Building a World-leading Mobile Banking Strategy

Xtreme Labs launched its Financial Services webinar series, kicking off their first webinar with “Building a World-leading Mobile Banking Strategy.”

The webinar was led by Xtreme Lab’s Director of Business Development and Financial Services, Mike Stern, who hosted a panel comprised of CIBC’s Director of Mobile Banking Strategy, Ranjit Sarai; CIBC’s Senior Business Project Manager of Internet and Mobile Banking, Sean Robertson; and Xtreme Labs’ Product Manager Damian McCabe.

Xtreme Labs has worked with CIBC on a number of mobile apps including CIBC’s iPhone and iPad app for everyday banking and CIBC’s Home Advisors App designed to help home buyers calculate the cost of homeownership.

While mobile banking is a relatively newer channel for banks and financial institutions compared to traditional banking channels such as retail, telephone and even online, its introduction has completely shifted the way banks can interact with their clients. According to Ranjit Sarai this is a paradigm shift for banks as they now have a direct channel to their clients 24/7 through the mobile app environment. This is a complete change from traditional channels where the onus of communication laid with the client.

The webinar covered areas such as the role of mobile web, iOS or android, and the opportunities building an app can bring to Canadian banks. Below are a few key takeaways that came out of the webinar:


Canadians are adopting mobile banking quickly. According to the Canadian Banking Association 19% of Canadians surveyed used mobile banking last year and 34% of Canadians are expected to bank using their mobile devices in the near future.


In financial services having a strong mobile web experience still plays an important role. Many financial service institutions are interested in merging their desktop web experience with their mobile web experience to create a unified web banking experience.

Banks building for mobile web can use the opportunity to eliminate unnecessary features built up over time and offer a better experience to both desktop and mobile users.


Banks starting their first mobile experience should consider building for the iOS market. iOS is better known, easier to get to market, and offers a more controlled environment in comparison to building for Android. Building for Android has the added complexity of fragmentation which results in a large number of devices that need to be serviced.

Once an iOS app has been built banks should move onto building for android and then consider other platforms.


Building native apps allows financial service institutions to create unique and innovative experiences for users. CIBC leveraged the iPad format to offer charting and graphing features not available on other mobile applications. Their Home Advisors iPhone App enables users looking for a new home to save and view details from house viewings.


Technology has lowered the barrier for traditional technology companies and startups to offer basic banking services changing the competitive landscape. Although CIBC can lean on the strong relationships and trust it has built up with its customers technology has equalized the playing field. Banks need to function more like technology companies and increase the pace of innovation.