Digital Transformation

Digital-first Banking: 3 Essential Steps for Financial Services

By Mark Grainger 4 May 2020

Coronavirus has emphasised the need for robust digital banking. This goes beyond having the infrastructure to cope with high online volumes – it also means ensuring proactive, efficient communication that strengthens customer relationships.

Together with my Engage Hub colleagues, I’ve helped dozens of financial services companies structure digital transformation in a customer-focused way. Each company had different processes and systems, but there were 3 common steps essential to their return on investment. Let’s look at each in turn.

Step 1: Get a holistic, accurate view of customer journeys

Accenture research found that, despite more than $1 trillion of global technology investment over 3 years, most banks haven’t seen any financial boost from digital transformation.

One reason is that banking is a cross-channel business involving a complex interplay of touchpoints. At different stages of a customer’s journey, they have different issues and choose different communication methods. It’s therefore challenging to unravel journeys and direct investment intelligently.

The solution: get true visibility of customer journeys. That way you have evidence on channel preferences, bottlenecks and successes to drive digital investment.

Engage Hub’s Customer Journey Tracker is one way to get this insight. It centralises data from all your systems and touchpoints, so you can track how customers are interacting with you across channels. As a result, you have an accurate view of how elements of the customer journey are connected, which, in turn, helps you decide which processes to automate. From SMS alerts, voice calls and email to push notifications, chatbots, website and social media – the right automation choices will help you boost operational efficiency while increasing retention rates.

Step 2: Leverage data to personalise at scale

Loyalty is the holy grail in the increasingly competitive FSI space. And data is your enabler here.

The right technology allows you to push advice and offers based on customer behaviour. This helps you create that strong relationship feel people used to have with their local branch – but in a 21st century way that you can manage cost-effectively. You can, for example, segment communications on mortgage rates based on family size, location, current rent and income bracket. Or you can target students who meet certain criteria with loan re-payment advice.

Step 3: Make more of mobile to deliver real-time communication

It’s not just about basic apps, with statements and payments available on the go. That has become the minimum acceptable provision. To compete effectively, you need to go further.

In Business Insider Intelligence’s Mobile Banking Competitive Edge Study, 89% of respondents said they used mobile banking. The figure leaped to 97% among millennials. This is a big opportunity.

To capitalise on it, you need to use mobile to foster relationships in real-time. There are many facets to this:

  • Convenience and control – alerts make it easy for customers to stay on top of their finances. These aren’t just push notifications to say a statement is available – they’re alerts for payments coming in and out, minimum balances being near, payments failing, changes to normal payment amounts (for example, if a direct debit is higher than normal) or reminders for regular payments (that may not be standing orders or direct debits).
  • Security – fraud checks can be more efficient and successful, with AI-driven, NLP-powered chatbots able to verify transactions and escalate issues as required.
  • Marketing – is there a new savings product that offers a better interest rate then the customer is getting? Send a push notification. Likewise for account perks not redeemed or renewal dates approaching. Mobile can deliver that personalised advice banks traditionally offer in a face-to-face meeting, but more efficiently for everyone involved.

Learn from an award-winning technology experts

Our clients have been recognised for its digital transformation efforts – and reaped the benefits when it comes to customer relationship-building.

Learn more about their experience by watching our on-demand webinar, featuring my guest speakers from Avant Money, Gillian Garrett, and Forrester, Joana de Quintanilha. Download your free copy here

See other posts by Mark Grainger

VP Sales

For more than ten years, Mark Grainger has been a key player in customer engagement solutions by helping enterprises amplify their marketing activities using the latest technology. With extensive experience gained in the marketing services industry, he specialises in SMS and mobile marketing in order to achieve maximum brand penetration whilst delivering an unforgettable customer experience.

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