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Consumers sit behind the wheel of the banking revolution
The banking industry has changed. Over the last few years, we’ve seen a seismic shift to digital which has been accelerated over the last 18 months. What’s more, we’re witnessing a complete overhaul in consumer expectations – and this is placing customer experience (CX) at the top of the list when it comes to FI priorities.
This requires a new way of thinking for FIs. While traditionally, loyalty was assumed by the banking sector, that’s changed and consumers are now quick to shift their loyalty if a brand doesn’t meet their expectations.
Now, consumers sit behind the wheel, putting more onus on FIs to offer a more competitive, modern, and attractive CX – and in an industry with little perceived differentiation between products and services offered, having the best CX will set your brand apart from the others.
So, what does that prime CX entail in the digital-first world? Read on to see how you can meet new banking preferences in different parts of the globe.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail—keep up with customers or they’ll jump ship
It’s no longer safe to assume your customers are going to go the distance with you—consumers no longer stay with an FI simply because generations of their family have before. Especially because “bank switching” has never been easier. With the ability to search and compare banking services they want at the touch of a button, consumers can find substitute brands in a matter of seconds and will often be monetarily incentivized to switch. So, proactive steps need to be taken to gain better rates of customer retention and acquisition.
Since today’s banking consumers are time-starved, efficiency and frictionless journeys remain key— therefore, a digital, self-service experience is expected. Aging technology will hold back an FI’s brand reputation as consumers prefer to interact with innovative solutions. In fact, according to a survey conducted by The FinTech Times, 90 percent of consumers in the United Kingdom say that modern technology is a priority for them when choosing who to bank with—indicating that tech and the experience it delivers—are more important to them than interest rates.
And self-service technology is the enabler. An increase in demand for self-directed banking—where the consumer chooses how they want to bank with the ability to reach out for support whenever they need to—is what consumers expect. Moreover, in a post-pandemic world, self-service technology won’t just be “nice to have.”
Banking customers want the same digital experience
One key thing to remember when planning your self-service strategy is that self-service does mean no service. In fact, quite the opposite. While one of the main considerations in choosing which technology to deploy is functionality, it’s critical to acknowledge that consumers also expect banking technology to mirror experiences they have elsewhere in their daily lives. According to The Financial Brand, banking consumers no longer distinguish between digital and physical interactions with a brand, and so, expect the same experience online as they do at other touchpoints with their FI.
Tablet-like interfaces with multi-touch displays, contactless or biometrics for faster, more secure authentication, and ATM marketing for more personal interaction are just a handful of features that consumers now expect from their banks. Improving experiences in a way that also addresses efficiency is imperative, according to McKinsey. The ATM could be the way to do just that.
The omnichannel experience is driven by technology
By now you’re likely at least familiar with what the omnichannel experience enables—the seamless connectivity across all customers’ touchpoints in every channel they use. Well, FI channels are no different—your customers expect connectivity between the app, online, ATM, and branch so that they can easily move a transaction from one channel to the next without needing to start it all over again. For example, if they start a loan online but find that they need a teller’s support and they decide to go to a branch to finish it—your teller should be able to pick up where they left off.
And technology has been fuelling the omnichannel experience for years—just try to remember what life was like before apps were introduced. Consumers rely on apps so much that India, with 500 million smartphone users mainly powered by Google’s Android platform, is looking to create the country’s own app store as a version of Google. Apps make the omnichannel experience even more important as consumers use them to start many of their banking transactions on their mobile devices while finishing them in other channels.
In Latin America, where most countries have large portions of underbanked and unbanked populations, technology is stepping in where big traditional banks in the region have been missing. Cash is still king in most Latin American countries, but now many more of them are gaining access to digital channels, too. And banks in that region will need to make the service in all of their channels the same—with speed and convenience leading the way.
So how are FIs able to meet the customer experience demand?
While it may seem daunting for traditional FIs who’ve been slow to innovate, it’s still critical to make the customer experience their top priority as it will remain the driving force of differentiating their FI in a very competitive space.
The following is an overview of some of the ways you can deliver the best customer experience—one that mirrors what your customers have come to expect.
Modernize your ATM estate. One thing new competitors like fintech don’t have that you do is the ATM. Consumers have been relying on them to get cash and much more for decades and that’s not something that’s going to change. In fact, ATM use is increasing not decreasing and some even view them as the grandfather to fintech. To modernize your estate by including interactive teller technology that connects to live tellers and much more to get ahead of your competition.
The more choices the better. There is something about making choices that consumers find delightful—and that’s certainly the case when it comes to their banking. To give them the customer experience they want, a digital-first, self-service experience with fully integrated channels is a must. This spans further than just the physical and digital channels, too. Consumers demand choice in every aspect of daily life, including payment. Whether it’s cash, card, or mobile—financial inclusion no matter the mechanism is critical.
Get to know the newest banking population. Gen Z’ers, people born between 1997 and 2015, are soon going to be a large segment of your business. And getting to know what they want from FIs is a great way to get ahead and put a strategy in place to modernize in ways that meet their customer experience demands—many have been playing with smartphones and tablets since they were toddlers so modernized UI has to be a given. What’s more, you can get to know what concerns them—for example, their largest concern is the rising cost of living. Even that bit of information can affect your business strategy and marketing campaigns.
It’s not just the hardware. Enterprise software empowers FIs to offer consistent experiences across channels. And software enables personalization through marketing capabilities so you can communicate and promote your services better than ever before—letting your customers know that you understand them will help you upsell more while driving customer loyalty. So, the software is a key component in delivering a modern, positive customer experience and enhancing your brand’s reputation—and with consumers switching banks more frequently you’re not just fighting to keep your customers, you’re trying to attract new customers, too.
Give them the steering wheel, while you control the experience
Consumer demand is driving the banking revolution. You can use this to your advantage by developing the best customer experience possible to differentiate yourself from your competitors. And there are many options available for you to do that, including investing in subscription-based services and outsourcing some of your technology needs. Having the ability to innovate quickly, easily, and cost-effectively will be central to helping you deliver service that delights your customers—no matter where in the world your FI is based.