Digital banks are no longer in the ‘money’ business but rather, in the ‘value’ business. This value is not just providing a functional benefit but also a holistic experience, (i.e. ‘what, when and how’ of the benefit), that customer values in the experience-based economy. Unlike in the past, when more than two products from one bank made a customer loyal, customer behavior is fleeting and their expectations for digital banking is increasing every day, because technology is giving them numerous choices and control. Tech savvy banking customers are not only comparing their digital experience with that of other banks, but also with their digital experiences in the non-banking world, like retail or telecom. This digital experience is vital, as it determines whether they should stay or move to different banks for better service.
Across the globe, adoption of mobility is surpassing the Internet and all other channels in banking. At this juncture, customer experience is primarily decided by speed, anytime-anywhere-any device banking, security and simple intuitive clicks. So, the ‘customer relationship’ itself has undergone a massive disruption along with technology. Digital banking is evolving by fulfilling customer needs and proactively advising before the customer even asks. Here are the various faces of digital banking, which often intersect with each other.
- Digital Banking with Human Face: While branches will continue to shrink, Face-to-Face (F2F) connections will continue. Telebanking via video will give a personal touch for issue resolutions or financial advisory services, to HNW (High Net Worth) and retail customers, while they are at home or the office. Bank of Montreal, for example, after introducing its telepresence, overcame the challenges of telephonic on email banking, and has been able to add a new dimension to superior customer experience.
- Digital Banking with Digital Face: There has been a massive behavioral and thus expectation shift in the customer relationship, especially among millennials. For millennials, the F2F relationship is no longer irreplaceable when the customer requires a utility driven solution or a real-time resolution through the digital relationship. Technology is the foundation of digital relationship, without which relationships with millennials would break in the future. Digital customers put a heavy premium on their mobile experience that will be redefined by their seamless, intuitive digital experience. For example, Wells Fargo, has used responsive design, to make its UI (User Interface) fit for different devices, even after their customer moves from one device to a different one. Many banks also allow their customers to pick and choose from multiple apps, so that each customer can use the one(s) most useful to them.
- Digital Banking with Social Face: Social media has already emerged as a platform, by which to build new connections and relationships. Surpassing the limitations of being a marketing mechanism, social media is now integrated with call centers to address customer needs and enhance customer relationships. Many customers are ready to invite risk trade-offs and allow their banks to track them. In return, banks are able to meet the customers’ untold expectations through behavioral analysis and offer big-data based, highly personalized products or solutions. In this way hard-selling goes away and digital banking enjoys customer empathy.
- Digital Banking with Invisible Face: Behind every cool staff in digital banking, there are strong, robust, behind-the-scene systems that ultimately build trust for the bank. The building blocks are analytics, data security and authentication, without which, the customer experience would be ephemeral. For example, contactless ATM transactions, using multi-factor authentication (like retina scan, video clip or bio metric) for secured and simple transactions, deliver effortless customer experiences. Voice over mobile is another shift from keypad entry in authentication that helps customers to do banking while they are busy in driving or something else.
- Digital Banking with Omni Face: In the age of IoT (Internet of Things), where the digital world (20%) is joining the enormous physical world (80%), dividing lines between industries will blur and banks will merge with non-banking world to capture value and offer customer delight. IoT will focus on huge amounts of data, like geo location, click stream etc. to offer contextual real time decisions to digital banking customers. Baking activities like lending or payment will then be embedded into the customers’ lifestyle, affecting how they shop or buy a house, by gathering customer intelligence and close customer engagement.
The article was originally published on Banking.com on April 28, 2015 and is re-posted here by permission.