Improving Customer Experience through Digital Innovation in Banking

In The Financial Brand’s latest Digital Banking Report, which surveyed financial institutions worldwide, 75% of organizations cite digital banking as the top priority for 2020 and into 2021, followed by “improving the customer experience” with 51%. The ways digital banking and customer experience are intertwined has never been more apparent. In order to focus on meeting customers’ needs, the banking industry must move beyond just mobile apps, and really dig in to innovative ways to offer their services.

Introducing the New Customer

The personas that make up the customer base of most banks is ever changing but there are some things that remain the same. There are those that are generally tech-savvy or tech-skeptical, and those that are concerned more about personal interactions, price and/or perks. Finding a way to meet these different needs in the digital landscape is key—and in order to do so, you must effectively access and analyze the data you have available.

Most companies today spend too much time collecting data manually, and not enough time analyzing it to inform their strategies and make data-backed decisions related to what their customers respond to. By the time the most complete and accurate data can finally be tracked down, compiled and analyzed, it may be too late to make any changes to their business trajectory. This type of data can reveal what customers value. Here are a few key values our financial institution customers have been prioritizing:

Personalization. Banking customers today want a seamless, multi-channel experience personalized to meet their specific needs and wants. Whether they use a website, a mobile app, a call center, a bank’s branch, or any other channel, customers want to feel like their bank knows more about their finances than a simple third-party processing app. They want their bank to look out for their financial well-being. Whether this means providing budgeting suggestions based on their lifestyle or providing geographic branch suggestions based on their geo-location, the digital touch can meet their personal needs.

Automation. A study by Gartner found that, “85% of banks and businesses will perform customer engagement with the help of AI chatbots by 2021.” Digital transformation allows banks to meet these needs easily with automated solutions like video-chat, chatbots, and live assistance. These automated resources can field customer complaints, provide simple routine actions, and understand pain points for the customer journey. One of our clients is planning to build an API system that follows the customer and vendor lifecycle so they can predict and fund the payouts for those vendors. Built on a scalable and interchangeable serverless architecture, like Trovata, they can create custom APIs that map exact details of the data to an integration with the ERP system is simply a matter of choosing the fields you need and what they will map to. Better yet, this can be done real-time as new transactions come in without the need for legacy jobs that run on a nightly basis.

Accessibility. The Digital Banking Report found that 50% of consumers now contact their bank through mobile apps or websites at least once a week, compared to 32% two years ago, and simultaneously have more than five bank accounts on average. More so than just using a simple digital app, having access to all of these accounts in one place is a determining factor for most consumers. The rise of digital wallets like Venmo and PayPal have clearly shown the impact of the accessibility that everyone is looking for: Venmo, owned by PayPal, reported 60% year-over-year growth in 2020.

The New Bank

In the world of banking, we know that many of the foundations that built the industry will remain the same, like prioritizing our customers. We may not be able to greet everyone who walks into a branch with a smile and find out about how their family is—but that will likely be because fewer and fewer customers bank in person. Finding new ways to meet their needs and earn their loyalty will be the real innovation we see over the next few years and beyond, starting with scaling and interpreting customer data in a comprehensive and efficient way.

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