Banking on digital service for success
In 2017, banks will need to push on from online bill payments and balance checking to more sophisticated digital services like video conferencing. That’s if they want to match the expectations they’ve built up among their customers.
People appreciate how banks have reconnected with them since the financial crisis. Our Youbiquity Finance report shows that 33% think banks put customers at the heart of their business, up from 19% in 2012. In the UK, 35% say they have a strong relationship with their bank – in Germany and Spain it’s nearly 60%.
They’re embracing digital services too: demand for web chat has doubled since 2012. And people now use more than six channels, on average, to keep in touch with their bank, from walking into their branch to having a web chat on their tablet. That compares to just over four in 2012.
People want to do more complex things online than check their balance and pay their bills.
And that’s sometimes hard. Three quarters have problems buying financial products online, says our report. Managing investments and filing complaints are ‘not easy’. And it can take five attempts at contacting the bank to make an appointment with an advisor online.
Could this be why 85% want help on the phone alongside digital service?
Customers still expect a lot of digital banking – 57% think their bank should get back to them in three hours when they tweet, email or post on Facebook. And they’re ready for more tech-enabled service – over five out of ten think video conferencing would help them understand financial advice. And 63% want ipads in branches to help them choose products and services.
So, with customers apparently eager for more digital service and competition fierce, I’ll be looking out for these trends:
Banks will want to keep things simple as more digital services pile extra demand on their networks. They already know the cloud can help them give customers a great experience and still keep costs low and flexibility high. But the more cloud services they use, the more they’ll need to manage them from one place, on one network, to keep costs down and performance high.
More targeted, more personal service
Banks will also start exploiting the internet of things to target services more precisely. Our report says around one in three people are willing to share data like location, energy use and payment history to get more targeted service. The numbers are higher for people who feel closer to their bank and more comfortable with technology. Using the internet of things could, for instance, speed up services like mortgage applications by tapping into live data on the property and analysing lending risk in real time.
Blockchain get closer to reality
Retail banks will start catching up with investment banks when it comes to blockchain. The shared online ledger could be a tool for processing and settling transactions. This could be the year when retail banks start trialing some early concepts. Blockchain could be more mainstream in around two years, especially if it helps speed up and secure the systems behind banks’ maturing digital services.
BT & Avaya carried out consumer research on attitudes towards digital banking from 3000 customers across the UK, Germany, and Spain. This video explains some of the top findings from the in-depth report, which can be accessed by completing the form on this page.
Download the full Youbiquity Finance report by completing the form on this page to find out the implications for your organisation.
Matthew has worked in the innovation and new technology field for his whole career. For the past six years he has had a particular focus looking at innovation in the banking sector on a global basis.
Connect with Matthew on LinkedIn.