It’s something every banker wants an answer to: “What do customers want from their banks? And how can we give them what they want?”
It’s not a simple process to figure out. Because banking is a necessity for essentially every demographic, bank customers aren’t all cookie cutter — they have their own unique needs and desires. That said, as the ubiquity of technology and digital access continues to increase, many bank customers are looking for technology driven solutions to improve their banking experience.
As consumers of all stripes grow more accustomed to the online space, so do their expectations about the flexibility and personalization technology is affording them. As banks have traditionally been slow to adapt, some customers have become frustrated with the lack of modernization. This has driven them to find financial institutions that have been able to better keep pace with the shifting digital landscape.
So, what do customers want from their banks? Here’s three ways banks can start appealing to their customers right now:
1. Bank Customers Want Personalized Pricing
Dynamic, pricing is becoming increasingly standard across multiple industries. Even in public transit, variable pricing is being used to incentivize and reward customer behavior to alleviate over-crowded vehicles during peak hours. Obviously this has positive effects for the company that can have customers act in a desirable fashion. But customers also love it — in essence, it offers them a sort of consumer freedom.
“If I act in this way, I have to change my behaviour — but it will save me money. Or I could pay more, but act in the manner I’ve become accustomed to. It’s up to me.” This mentality is growing increasingly common among the digital generations, and they’ve begun to expect traditional institutions to get on board.
It may seem like a small tweak, but it can have a major impact on the mentality of banking customers. According to research by Accenture, 45% of bank customers claim the main reason they’d stay with their bank is if it offered them discounts on purchases of interest. If nearly half of all customers are promising loyalty for something this easy to attain, it should become a top priority.
2. Bank Customers Want Their Needs To Be Anticipated
With the rise of machine learning and automation, customers are increasingly expecting to be offered solutions the minute — or even before — they need one. Especially when it comes to their money, customers want to have immediate access to a product, solution or offer that can ameliorate their financial situation.
Unfortunately, while this technology is becoming commonplace elsewhere, it remains rare in banking. As a matter of fact, our very own Don Halliwell wrote a piece dealing with just this issue — he needed a loan for a car, but his bank couldn’t act fast enough to give it to him. Breaking from his decades of loyalty, Don was forced to go elsewhere to finance his car.
If banks want to retain customers in the hyper-competitive industry, it will behoove them to find strategies to act fast to meet customer needs. But customers don’t just want reactive solutions — if banks can use data to anticipate needs, they can preemptively offer products before the competition has a chance to poach loyal customers.
3. Bank Customers Want Processes to be Quick, Simple and Accessible
The days of branch-only banking are just about over. Even 15 years ago, the idea of an entirely digital financial institution would have seemed impossible. Now, it’s obvious online-only banking is here to stay. But to remain competitive with the up-and-comers, banks are going to have to offer robust digital solutions.
Signing up for a chequing, savings or business account doesn’t need to take days, and require a trip to a physical location. Yet, for many banks (and their customers) this is still a reality. Having a branch is a definite benefit to a comprehensive omnichannel strategy, but it shouldn’t be the be-all-end-all.
Most customers today are starting their buyers’ journey online. They shouldn’t have to jump channels to complete it. If banks want to give customers what they want, they’ll need to offer them end-to-end online solutions and products.
What do customers want from their banks? As it turns out — quite a lot. Thankfully, banks have the tools to meet the vast majority of these needs.
Even when held back by legacy software, banks have access to a bevvy of FinTech applications which can allow them to remain agile in a rapidly changing banking ecosystem.
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Zafin (@zafin) is a leading financial technology provider that enables banks to form richer, more personalized client relationships. Built from the ground up for financial services, its platform empowers banks to enhance revenue and operational efficiency. Founded in 2002, Zafin sits among North America’s top FinTech companies, and is trusted by retail and corporate units at some of the largest banks worldwide. Headquartered in Toronto with global offices, Zafin has a proven track record with a 100 percent client retention rate as validation.
Cam is the Digital Communications and Marketing Coordinator at Zafin. With a background in journalism and a passion for blogging, Cam strives to tell compelling digital stories. At Zafin he will share the latest trends and news in the FinTech world, and share Zafin’s role as leader in the industry. Follow him on Twitter @CamSmoth