How can banks evolve to meet the needs of consumers?

Last updated: 20 December 2016

Bank digitization

The challenge of adapting your customer experience to meet the need of digital consumers is one we’ve discussed before at length. Millennials in particular expect their services to keep up and be at the forefront of technological evolution. If you had been surrounded by game-changing innovations such as smartphones, Wi-Fi and connected devices for most of your life, wouldn’t you expect essential services such as banking to offer you services that function smoothly on all the wonderful technology you use in every other aspect of your daily life?

Millennials are the customers of tomorrow. Banks need to acknowledge this and embrace digitization accordingly if they want to stay relevant. We highlighted this in our first post in this blog series which explained why the need for digitization is so important. In this post, we’re looking at how this evolution can take place and how banks must pay close attention to the customer life cycle, right from enrolment to engagement.

The digitization of enrolment

If enrolment processes are antiquated and time-consuming, customers are likely to be put off. The process must be convenient, speedy, and secure – an important combination. It can, however, be difficult to achieve this combination, thanks to the challenges in place from KYC (Know Your Customer) regulations, which often elongate and complicate current enrolment journeys that rely on paper-based processes. Unsurprisingly, this can deter customers from signing up to additional services. Furthermore, this sort of service can ultimately result in customers not only declining extra offers, but leaving a bank all together.

Bank digitization

The key to overcoming the KYC challenges is, as you’ve probably guessed already, is digitization. Digital banking solutions can help ensure the enrolment process is truly convenient, speedy and secure. Integrated apps which function perfectly well on mobiles, tablets and smartwatches mean enrolment can become millennial-friendly by taking away unnecessary hassle. There are of course other key ways to streamline this process – the use of blockchain technology is one of them. As an example, this has worked very well for Fidor Bank in Germany.

From enrolment to engagement: the multi-channel experience

Engagement processes have to be optimized as well. Once customers are enrolled successfully, they have to be looked after to ensure retention. Banks need to offer a consistent, contextual experience across multiple channels, especially as multi-channel demand is increasing now. In addition, banks must also realize the importance of offering personalized and/or customized experiences for consumers. Consumers are too often made to feel like they’re just one of the crowd – a bank that instead treats them as individuals will reap the benefits.

We need to see an evolution in the decision-making processes for customers to simplify consumer engagement across all channels. Complicated mechanisms and protocol are still a regular occurrence. Once again, it’s digitization that can be the remedy for these problems.

Banks also need to socially engage with the consumers throughout their journeys, based on real-time behavior. This is increasingly possible to monitor now.

The risks of resisting change

Without addressing these challenges, banks risk losing credibility and tarnishing their brand image. Meanwhile, addressing these challenges will, in fact, improve sign up and conversion rates, as well as reducing existing levels of customer churn. The opportunity to thrive is out there; it’s imperative that banks seize this and evolve accordingly to make sure consumer life cycles are significantly improved.

For more information on the rise of digital banking, you can visit at our dedicated microsite. And let us know your thoughts on the future of financial services by tweeting to us at @Gemalto.

One thought on “How can banks evolve to meet the needs of consumers?

  1. Could not agree more! The banking systems in different countries in Europe have different degrees of innovation. I remember ten years ago when I moved from Sweden to the UK I could not even use my swedish payment card in the UK because it did not have a chip. Sweden has always been slow in adopting new tecknology in the banking sector. The UK bankings are much more innovative where already today we can see payment solutions with active nfc (mobile phone payment) and passive nfc (wristband payments). Some countries refuses to implement innovative payment solution. Why is a big mystery because as long as they link the paymentcard to these solutions the banks makes money. The problem for the banks and paymentcard makers is that today there are innovative solutions where you dont need a payment card to pay for things. This is the less innovative banks punishment for not being innovative enough. Which ultimatly will be their death. From evolution we know that an organism needs to adabt in order to survive. The same thing apply for the banks.

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