According to the latest survey of UK current account customers (conducted by Accenture), it was found that customers aged 25 to 34 are the most open to pure digital banks, with one-third saying they would consider using one.
While the poll found an increased usage in digital banking, more than half of the respondents still claimed using a branch at least once a month. This reflects the growing complexity in how consumers want to interact with banks today.
So what do consumers want from their banks?
A key motivation for them to use banking services online is the ability to keep a continuous handle on their financial position with fully customizable and tailored services. It starts from recognizing their individuality with something as simple as customization of their app’s home screen with the features they use most.
At the most fundamental level, consumers would expect to receive the same level of communication that they can get by going into a branch or via telephone banking.
And increased personalization to tailor services based upon their preferences will boost engagement and support their needs. This will demand investment from the banks in tools to deliver a fuller spectrum of direct personalized customer services digitally.
Customers are exchanging their data for intelligent analysis of their online behavior to make suggestions on savings goals or deliver warnings on spending. In short, they are allowing banks to provide sound projections and advice on their future financial status, to shape how they spend their money.
It is crucial to enable an opt-in ability, giving the consumer control over what they want advice and suggestion on.
Convenience is the top priority for consumers who opt for digital banking, and they want hassle-free access to banking without lengthy authentication processes.
Banks could already make greater use of biometrics for login – for instance, implementing Apple’s Touch ID authentication into banking apps.
A digital startup is addressing the challenge of digital security with “Is It You”, a mobile facial recognition technology that claims to authenticate users through the process of taking a “selfie”, comparing the image taken with a stored scan of the device owner’s face.
Much like predictive features, it is still important that consumers have options to find a level of access that they’re comfortable with.
More and Faster Payments
Consumers are ready to go cashless and pay with their app as a debit or credit card, but widespread use of Near Field Communication (NFC) is expected to be relatively slow, and banks will need to stay ahead of the curve.
Value-add mobile commerce services also represent new revenue streams for banks. For instance, mobile gifting further allows banks to adapt to the busy lifestyles of their customers. Rather than having to go into a shop to purchase a gift card, consumers could simply browse and buy them on banking apps, then automatically send them to a friend.
Banks have made significant progress in shaping digital banking services. However, the pace of change is relentless – we are moving from ‘one size fits all’ digital banking to intelligent services that present new opportunities for banks.
Consumers now expect more control over how and when they choose to access banking services, including financial suggestions and advice.
Banks should start putting themselves in their customers’ shoes and truly understanding the digital medium. It’s time to act fast and smart.