NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Although digital wallet technology is a relatively new perk, not having it can be a deal-breaker for millions of banking customers. According to a recent study conducted by Cognizant Business Consulting, the expansion of mobile banking options will be a key determining factor in customer loyalty going forward.

The study, which surveyed 2,100 banking users, revealed that a large share of customers consider improved functionality and more options for mobile banking to be high priorities when considering whether or not to join a bank.

The same report also revealed some other interesting traits that users look for in mobile banking apps. The first is personalization: 75% of the customers surveyed claimed that feature personalization was really important to them. Of this group, half reported that they wanted the ability to rearrange tabs and functions within the mobile app.

Maulik Shah, CTO of Mantra Information Services, the company behind the award-winning mBank app, believes that personalization provides a major opportunity for banks to improve their mobile banking services.

"Banks can do lot better in the area of personalizing their services and use mobile banking apps as a medium to connect with their customers." Shah said, "Using mobile banking, a customer should be able to connect with a personal banker and have video conversations about their accounts. For our mBank app, we have several personalization features on our product roadmap that we will be working on next."

Another important characteristic is security. The survey revealed that 70 % of respondents believe that security is a major concern for mobile banking adoption. It is this same worry that has many older banking customers skeptical of the platform altogether.

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Respondents that were 55 or older had the lowest mobile banking adoption rates of any of the age groups surveyed.

At face value, this may seem like a barrier to the future growth of mobile banking, but many view this disconnect as an opening for banks to build a stronger connection with their users.

The report cited the security concern as an opportunity for retail banks to improve their products: "In our experience, security presents an opportunity for retail banks to both improve both their underlying authentication technology and the user experience, and convey stronger messages to the consumers on safety and security."

By addressing the security fears that users have, banks can entice skeptical users and possibly generate new revenue opportunities. In fact, 35% of those surveyed would be willing to pay a nominal fee for biometric security features such as finger-print matching, voice authentication and facial recognition.

Banks looking for the best way to expand revenues through mobile banking need look no further than mobile payments. 49% of those surveyed said that they are willing to pay for the ability to make payments through their smartphone. Out of this group, 10% are willing to pay up to $.25 per transaction while 9% are willing to pay up to $.50 per transaction.

Banks that are able to address user concerns by offering more personalized, feature-rich, and secure apps will have a decided advantage over banks that don't.

--Written by John Okoye for MainStreet