You do not have to meet your bank manager for coffee once a month to have a healthy, communicative relationship with your bank and with money in general. You don’t have to see them at all, but they must be an ally, a friend. And they definitely have to mean it.
Unilateral banking is a thing of the past. To think that at one stage it was commonplace for banks simply to offer generic products with nobody particular in mind, or loans with the same conditions for all, whatever your circumstances, nowadays begs belief. You only need look as far as your parents or grandparents to remember that for them, the bank was the impenetrable, all-powerful institution that delivered their analogue offering from on high. Intelligent banking is a relatively new concept, but one that has changed the way we look at banking altogether, and one that won’t be going back from whence it came any time soon.
For a customer to build a proper conversation with their bank, the bank needs to know who they are talking to, what makes them tick and what their goals are.
The more they understand you, the more likely they are to provide you with things you need. No-one ever needs just a loan, they need a new car, or enough to cover their home removal costs or to take an impromptu trip. Just as a friend or trusted acquaintance would, a bank should have the customer’s real interests at heart and leave product-pushing well alone.
Big Data, in-depth analysis and strategic marketing are all part and parcel of good business in today’s competitive marketplace. It’s not only not enough to use guesswork as your only tool, it’s no longer necessary. We are now able to gain so much useful insight into our customers and end-users that anything less than on-target offerings will be ill-received, and detrimental to your future success. Banks need to get on board with intelligent Personal Financial Management tools that can predict their users’ next move.
The bank may already know a fair bit about their customers’ money habits, but at best, they’re only halfway there. That’s all about to change.
Open Banking is the financial sector’s chance to be smarter. And it is just a matter of time before all the information is available, all of the time, to everyone. Come mid next year, customer data becomes openly accessible and the bank will need to have a solid plan of action in place for when it does. It’s not simply an open house at the bank, it’s a chance for all players to do something more meaningful with their knowledge, create the ultimate user experience, and be first choice for their clients. Banks included.
Now everyone will know what the customer wants, what they spend their money on, and what they’re aiming for, allowing financial institutions to offer timely solutions, a friendly piece of advice and options various for effective money management.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aoife is an experienced copywriter and translator in English, Spanish and Catalan across several sectors. Passionate about all things language-related and a whiz with words, she gives voice to the Strands values through all manner of articles, blog posts and whitepapers.