Banking on digital solutions to build trust and innovation
With bank customer loyalty and trust at a low point, following the recent financial fallout and the economic downturn, banks are in need of a fresh start. Rising to the challenge of reconnecting with customers, rebuilding trust and renewing the banking experience, banks are starting to explore digital technologies and solutions. But is that enough, ask Joydeep Bhattacharya and Piercarlo Gera of Accenture.
Forward-looking financial services providers are seeing a silver lining and are rapidly capitalising on the digital wave to re-establish themselves as the bank of choice with customers. Accenture research* identified three business models for progressive banks, and digital is at the heart of them all:
- Intelligent Multichannel Bank—builds on enhanced multichannel experiences using strategic analytics solutions to engage customers and meet their financial needs.
- Socially Engaging Bank—leverages social media interactions to increase customer intimacy.
- Financial/Non-Financial Digital Ecosystem—leverages the power of mobile technology to put the bank at the centre of an ecosystem selling financial and non-financial services.
Taking a cue from the retail sector where Amazon, eBay and Starbucks have transformed customer experiences, financial institutions are stepping up. There is a realisation that if they fail to respond non-banking organisations will start to own the customer experience. Innovative players such as Moven (formerly Movenbank), Square, Google and Simple have already started offering financial services.
Adopting a Digital First mind-set is an effective way for banks to redefine their relationship with customers. By having a truly digital business, banks can move away from reactive, transaction-based customer relationships, towards a more intimate, proactive and personalised experience across multiple channels, products and services.
- Be Attentive—Anticipate customer needs and guide them to the relevant solution quickly.
- Be Insightful—Leverage analytics and other technologies to understand customer preferences as well as needs, increasing the value of interactions.
- Be Connected—Provide a seamless experience across channels so customers will feel positive about their experience. If a customer submits a mortgage application, all subsequent interactions should be in sync.
- Be Relevant—Deliver improved service by developing digital applications that recognise context and engage customers within it.
- Be Available—Deepen the relationship with customers by giving them access to virtual relationship managers and other digital services across all channels/devices.
Digital First needs the backing of an integrated technology strategy to drive customer intimacy. There are a number of enabling technologies that will make the strategy meaningful and seamless. Here is a selection the research highlighted:
Analytics has evolved digital analytics encompassing customer interactions across online, mobile and social channels. This is giving marketers the opportunity to understand how customers user their digital properties and integrate those insights to deliver compelling experiences.
For example, UK customers with an American Express card can now sync their card account with their Foursquare account and take advantage of personalised offers based on location and spend patterns. This intelligence is fundamentally enabled by insights AmEx has from a richer profile of the customer and it helps deliver an experience that is contextual as well as relevant.
Amazon-like post-login experience
Experience has shown that over 90% of customers use their bank website to check their account balance or carry out specific transactions, and then they log off. The average interaction a customer has through online banking is functional and transactional. But there is a great opportunity to transform the experience into a dialog.
In a move towards providing a compelling post-login experience to customers, Bank of America has developed BankAmeriDeals—an application that allows online customers to select a series of cash back deals at shops and restaurants in a secure environment. This added value service uses transaction history coupled with their partner ecosystem to attract the attention of customers and reward them for loyalty.
Digital relationship management
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, one of Spain’s largest banks, is breaking new ground by offering customers superior service through LOLA, a virtual assistant application that guides BBVA’s internet banking customers. LOLA builds customer intimacy by making personalised recommendations, much as a real bank assistant would, leading the customer through customised pages where the structure and displayed information is tailored to suit the customer needs.
Socially Engaging Banking
Banks have a great opportunity to use this channel for gathering insights, demonstrating transparency, engaging customers and for new product development. Leading organisations are already going beyond using social to merely gather insights; they are making it part of an integrated customer experience strategy across channels.
New York City-based Moven (formerly Movenbank) is launching next generation banking services with social at its core. Combining traditional credit data with behavioural data and social influence the bank creates a customer credibility (CRED) score. Based on that score, the bank provides feedback to customers on their financial performance and options they can consider.
Serving digital customers
A Digital First mind-set is fundamental for financial services providers focused on significantly enhancing customer satisfaction, building customer loyalty and deepening share of wallet. At a time when tech-savvy customers are increasingly demanding about how, where and when they want services from their banks, becoming a truly integrated digital business is essential for growth. Only by adopting Digital First can banks deliver reliable, relevant and innovative financial services which build a strong and loyal customer base.
*Banking 2016: Accelerating growth and optimising costs in distribution and marketing, Accenture 2012