The financial services industry is in the process of rebounding from the financial crisis but now faces disruption of another kind. Technology is increasingly changing how customers and employees interact with banks, capital markets firms and other financial institutions. While the industry may be moving  beyond the era of cost-cutting and retrenchment, customers’ and employees’ expanded use of  mobile technology is raising expectations, enabling new competition and innovation, and helping firms better understand customers and uncover business opportunities.

Fortunately, Microsoft and its partners can help navigate these changes by building great mobile experiences to help banks grow their business. We know security is at the top of mind for each financial service CIO, and we can provide the experiences people want while meeting the stringent standards for IT, security, manageability and support that financial institutions demand. IT can fully embrace bring your own device through centralized management of apps and data with enhanced security and compliance.

For example, Westpac, one of the largest banks in Australia, through its Financial Services division, offers an award-winning wealth advisor program called Discover Your World. Wealth advisors use this program to engage clients on strategic financial planning discussions, which previously was a very paper intensive process.

Westpac is now streamlining this process onto a Windows 8 modern app called Discover Your World. The app will improve advisor customer service and provide a more intuitive and engaging experience for managing customers’ most critical financial decisions. Westpac has made the app available on a convertible device that is perfect for Westpac’s sales team in the field – the Lenovo Helix.

Westpac is deploying Discover Your World to more than 1,000 devices – primarily to their distribution mobile staff, making it easier to take advantage of the very latest technology to improve employee productivity and implement new ways to stay connected with customers in the office or wherever their customers may be.

Initial feedback of the app and Lenovo Helix tablet has been extremely positive. Employees have told them, “The combination of Windows 8, Discover Your World app and the tablet helps me be more productive.” Another employee commented, “Many customers are in geographically dispersed locations so having the ability to have the right information, at the right time and in a secure environment is a tremendous advantage.” Additionally, with this success, Westpac has made plans to move its employees to Windows 8.1. Check out their video here.

Our partners are getting involved too. FreedomPay developed a Commerce Platform which allows consumers to use the platform as a mobile wallet to pay at local stores and get exclusive mobile incentives and it’s available first on Windows Phone 8. Payment cards, offers and loyalty cards are secured in the SEEK digital wallet, which simplifies the consumer’s payment experience. It also benefits banks and retailers, as they can white label the powerful commerce platform to target consumers based on buying habits and use the app to deliver highly relevant offers to them. By taking advantage of the user experience on Windows Phone 8, FreedomPay offers a more immersive app experience, including benefits such as Live Tiles, enhanced search and an easy-to-navigate, user-centric interface.

These are just two examples of how we are innovating mobility in financial services. Here are a few more examples:

SunGard: SunGard’s Ambit Concierge app for Windows 8 provides secure, real-time mobile access to the bank’s transaction processing system so employees can engage with customers and transact business while away from the branch – it allows the tablet to be much more than just a tool for information sharing.

SunGard also has created the IntelliMatch Operational Control app for tablets that lets users monitor activities, undertake reconciliation tasks and respond to requests on the go. Both enable employees to engage with customers and transact business – allowing the tablet to be much more than just a tool for information sharing.

Thomson Reuters: Their BoardLink app offers company board members an easy, direct, secure way to access and share information. Today, many board meetings require a physical book of documents for board members to review, which can present security concerns. BoardLink encrypts the important information on meeting attendees’ tablets, provides links to Thompson Reuters market information, and ensures attendees are informed and prepared with continuously updated information.

Temenos: Temenos has created a prototype Treasury Management Dashboard app for Windows 8 that gives treasury managers and senior bank members one central location for all their data. This app helps employees determine risks and their positioning, which gives them the ability to manage opportunities and problems wherever they may be.

Stay tuned here for additional insight into business mobility across business sectors. For more information about what Microsoft is doing in mobility, be sure to visit the Microsoft Business Newsroom for updates on how we are innovating around the world.