People are getting savvy with digital banking


Consumers have embraced online and mobile innovations to empower themselves and enrich their choices, whether they’re shopping for a car, looking for a dentist, or searching for a restaurant. When consumers are managing their money, they expect the same enhanced experience.

They want their digital banking needs met with fast and seamless products and services that are always available, reliable and secure. While banks are balancing speed and security to meet these needs, consumers want more. They understand how rapidly technology changes, and they see the potential it offers. They leverage the vast amount of available information to find the best deals on everything. Gone are the days when a customer needed to contact a set of banks to compare interest rates or even visit a branch to deposit a cheque.

At the same time, demographics are shifting. By 2020, not even six years away, the majority of consumers will be tech-savvy “digital natives,” who grew up online and on their smartphones*.


Banks need to stay up with digital changes


All these changes mean that, in order to remain competitive and profitable, banks need to harness technological advancements to create a compelling customer experience while improving their own operational performance. While technology offers numerous gleaming innovations that promise to achieve these goals, adoption and business results often lag behind expectations and predictions.

Some innovations have not yet caught on because the infrastructure they require has not yet been adopted widely. Indeed, digital wallets, custom apps, contactless payments, and other innovations will have a big impact on banking - but, in all our focus on and excitement about the next big thing, what are banks overlooking today?

Rather than placing too much emphasis on the future, banks can benefit by broadening their focus to include evolving technologies. While these innovations may not be as exciting as contactless payment suits, injectable chip technology, or retinal scan authentication, they do offer banks near-term payoffs and a competitive edge.

Automating and streamlining customer service processes are prime candidates for almost immediate payoffs. For example many banks continue to mail PINs to new customers, a process that adds both cost and delay that can easily be accomplished via SMS text messaging. Banks can save on printing and mailing costs, and customers can begin, or resume, using their accounts in a matter of hours rather than days.

Electronic communication can also vastly improve the customer experience for new credit card applicants. Rather than waiting and wondering about the status of their application or when their new card will arrive, customers can receive updates via SMS or other digital channels. Updates that indicate the card is in production and then when it’s been mailed not only provides them with timely information but also assures customers that their bank understands their concerns.

The physical production of cards can be significantly improved by offering an “instant issuance” service enabling credit or debit cards to be produced in-branch and provided to customers within a matter of minutes.

And, with the advent of digital wallets, the potential to instantly issue “virtual cards” that allow customers to shop both online and in the real world using NFC-enabled smart phones is on the immediate horizon, along with a better overall customer experience for those who have lost or have had their cards stolen.

By no means is it time to forget about the future, but implementing truly useful, readily available technologies can help banks reduce costs, increase revenues, and improve the customer experience

Interactive bank e-statements are another area of improvement. In addition to viewing their statements online many customers would prefer receiving eLetters rather than paper communications. Online statements and eLetters offer the added advantage of interactivity.

Dynamic, enhanced statements can give customers the option to view useful information about each transaction including links to maps with the location of the merchant or the merchant’s website. A suspected fraud button can also be added that triggers the fraud reporting process and prevents customers from having to switch channels to report the issue by telephone. Customers buying large-ticket items, such as televisions, can also have access to more financing options.

In addition to applying for store credit when they purchase a TV or paying off credit card instalments they can consider an instalment loan from their card issuer that will likely offer better terms and more convenience. This simple shift benefits consumers, who don’t have to bother applying for financing at the store, and banks, which capture additional revenue-generating loans.

By no means is it time to forget about the future, but implementing truly useful, readily available technologies can help banks reduce costs, increase revenues, and improve the customer experience.

Reference Source – PwC Precious Plastic 2013.