I’ve recently joined Malauzai Software, a developer of Mobile Banking Apps for Community Banks and Credit Unions, as their Chief Sales Officer. Even though I’ve been involved with SaaS products since 1998, the last few months have been quite the education. Delivering apps to a wide variety of financial institutions is dramatically more challenging than I expected, and my experiences illustrate many of the issues you can expect if you build a B2B app company.
Malauzai has signed 130 banks, and has 94 live with native apps across the iPhone, Android, and iPad platforms. The look and feel of the apps are customized to each FI (financial institution), and the UIs range from stately to playful. Each bank or credit union chooses its’ own array of functionality from a standard set we maintain and grow over time.
One hot new deliverable is Picture Pay–a new feature that lets consumers pay bills by simply taking a photo of the bill with their mobile device. This commercial from one of our customers explains it in 33 funny seconds: First Financial Bankshares commercial.
A few takeaways: 1) businesses that buy apps are feeling real pressure to make their apps cool. Banks are jettisoning their generation 1.0 apps, which are often rewarmed internet banking functionality, in favor of generation 2.0 apps that take full advantage of the platform. 2) There is huge demand to be first to market with new functionality. Picture Pay is a good example. 3) keeping existing customers current is going to be challenging in this environment. We launch new functionality more frequently than our banks want to update their apps. Finding the right balance between frequent updates and not inundating customers with updates is going to be an interesting balancing act.
Stay tuned…I’ll post more as we move forward.