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The experience customers expect from their bank

Dear Banks,

Welcome to The Age of the Customer. For FIs, this means shifting the banking relationship beyond transactional services to the very heart of your customers’ daily living experience. But what does that actually mean in practical terms, and how can banks achieve it?

Many studies show how progress brought by the Internet has made consumers more informed and mature. The 21st century consumer knows exactly what they want (and don't want), how they want to consume it, through which channel, how they want to be treated during the transaction process. On top of all that, they are usually very well-informed of every alternative.

Let's look at the evidence. According to a Cisco IBSG Global Research study of 5,300 global banking consumers:

  • 78% prefer to use online channels for banking
  • 26% would leave their bank if personalized attention was eliminated, and
  • 83% said they would favor banks that offered a wider menu of services, including financial education, legal, accounting, tax, and insurance services.

A newly released FIS consumer banking index of 9,000 bank customers in 9 countries found that only 23% of customers globally believe their bank is meeting their expectations. The study concluded that consumers are willing to bring more business to their bank in exchange for more personalized services and customized products to meet their needs. Even more recent research by GfK and Personetics found that when banks invest in personalization capabilities, consumer trust in banks increases when it comes to conducting business and getting help with their day-to-day finances.

Finally, an October 2015 study by CGI revealed an astonishing 91% of respondents said they believe it is important to be known by their bank - yet 62% said their banks do not know them! 

The first step in knowing and meeting your customers' needs is having a clear idea of their expectations. Banking consumers in particular want to be:

  • Found: using visualization and analytics tools to discover their needs and segment their requirements with clarity

  • Understood: provide a smart learning system based on their personal financial context, transactional data, location, demographics and social data 

  • Advised: with intelligence brought to every client interaction, leading to a clear understanding of what they can or can’t afford

  • Excited: when a smart recommendation service presents them with unexpected offers at unexpected yet perfectly-timed moments, with that special product that truly interests them

  • Alerted: by a personalized communication in real-time, with information based on predictive analytics

  • Offered multiple channels: through an omni-channel experience in which they can move seamlessly between channels, or leverage multiple channels simultaneously to optimize their banking experience

  • Enabled to compare: with analytics revealing the spending habits of their peers, and who’s buying what in their consumer demographic

  • Asked: for their suggestions and ideas for products, services, social issues or how their bank can serve them better

  • Engaged: using data-driven insights to establish relationships that make them and their families feel supported, secure and covered in the long-term

  • Rewarded for their loyalty: by being offered premium products and added-value services in exchange for sharing their data, locations or new ideas

  • Educated: by receiving instant answers to their questions, “in-the-moment” tooltips, and interactive online training

  • Protected: having been granted security and privacy measures while their information is used by machine learning and big data analytics

Given such a tall order, a fundamentally new approach to banking is needed, with an emphasis on delivering customer delight by focusing on the points above. Global research combined with our firsthand experience working with FIs around the world shows that customers are ready for a new era, which will be defined by customer-centric digital banking with Personal Financial Management (PFM) as its essential core. Why? It's the brain providing data-driven intelligence, and the face offering a beautiful design combined with a smooth and intuitive user experience that together checks most or all of the above boxes. 

PFM banking consumer expectations

Topics: Personal Financial Management (PFM), Digital Transformation, digital money management, personalized banking, customer experience

Author: Erik Brieva, CEO on Oct 6, 2015

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