Enterprises today see the importance of giving their workforces access to Android-compatible financial services apps. Despite the slow pace of adoption of new standards and endless internal debates over mobile device management (MDM) and security, financial enterprises are now moving ahead with programs to give their teams access to solutions and leading apps like Skype, Concur, Expensify and Coupa on their Android devices.

Although a lot of financial enterprises were slow to support Android, given their historic reliance on legacy devices that are now fading from businesses in the U.S., they are moving increasingly toward Android-powered smartphones and tablets. For many, the driver is a new wave of devices that are slimmer and faster than prior models. In addition, a more streamlined instance of Android with capabilities like split-screen multitasking, high definition displays, fingerprint scanning and the KNOX security platform make current smartphones more appealing to business users than ever before.

Software Leads the Charge

Software, specifically in the form of mobile apps, drives enterprises to Android. For example, the roll out of Office for Android marked a seismic change for its parent company that has made it relevant in the mobile category again. Improvements to Outlook for Android have been worth following, but the big news in late 2015 is that Skype for Business is coming to Android.

Another popular enterprise financial services app is Concur for Android. Concur is a leading travel and entertainment SaaS solution. Used by large banks and consulting firms, it’s known for its integration with complex environments such as those found at large financial institutions. The app makes it easy for businesses to track and manage travel expenses. It allows businesses to select preferred airlines and will recommend the most cost-effective itineraries for travelers. Its acquisition by SAP further increases Concur’s relevance to the enterprise market.

While the largest enterprises favor Concur, others in the business market looking for similar functionality are considering Expensify, a free app available on the Google Play store. Expensify allows business users to quickly and easily submit expense reports from the convenience of their smartphones. Users simply open the app, fill out an automated expense form, snap a picture of their receipt and submit their request for reimbursement.

A third company to track is Coupa, a recently VC-funded provider of expense and procurement solutions. The mobile app makes it easy and convenient for business users to purchase and expense goods, and save their company money in the process. Given the level of financial backing, and its ability to operate more nimbly than Concur under SAP, Coupa is an enterprise solution for Android that could become significant in the near future.

More to Come

Enterprise adoption of Android will continue to grow over time within financial services as security concerns are addressed. Given financial institutions’ role in protecting financial assets, device-level security is top of mind for decision makers. The robust security features available from Samsung KNOX will make the transition to Android more streamlined. Given their ability to enforce operating system upgrades and to control which handsets are used by staff members, financial enterprises today have a leg up on mobile security.

In the near future, financial enterprises can expect more and more collaboration from leading solution providers with third-party software providers like SAP and Expensify, whose adoption will serve to reinforce the growing importance of financial services apps for Android.

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Michael Halloran

Michael Halloran publishes the FinTech Blog on innovation and trends in financial services firms and startups, and is head of partnerships and business development at Previously, he was with Morgan Stanley, where he managed partner relationships in the wealth management division. He began his career as a consultant at Gemini Consulting, where he helped launch the U.K.'s first online bank. He was also a managing director at Scient (now Razorfish). Follow him on Twitter: @fintechblogger

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