Arjun Singh Rathore
Consumers around the world are quickly adopting digital banking. Incumbents only have a short period to adjust to this new reality or risk becoming obsolete
During the present times of increasing social distancing, digital banking is especially a key to staying connected with your bank or credit union customers while giving them an easy, no-contact way to handle their day-to-day banking tasks.
DIGITAL is the new buzz word that has led to disruptions across multiple industry segments, including banking. The early form of banking process transformation involved the conversion of manual processes to automated ones.
Unlike industries like healthcare, financial services mostly deal with structured quantitative data which makes it easier to digitize and automate processes. This is a double-edged sword. Financial services institutions can have more effective digital transformation initiatives compared to other industries, however, it is also easier for attackers to launch digital-native financial institutions.
Given the numerous tech giants and fintech companies encroaching on their business, banks need to ramp up their digital transformation efforts and adopt technologies such as machine learning, automation, and block-chain.
Digital transformation is the process of integrating digital technologies into all aspects of a business to meet the market and changing business requirements. It aims to increase the effectiveness of business operations and customer relations. To achieve these goals, organizations need to update their systems, processes, organizations and culture.
Digital transformation in banking requires a shift to online and digital services as well as a change in backend processes to promote digitization and automation. To compete with digital natives, banks are trying to provide an end-to-end digital experience to their customers by integrating necessary technologies.
At the same time banks need to adopt changes in customer experience. With the advancements in technology, customer behaviours and expectations are changing. According to a recent survey report, more than half (53%) of consumers of financial institutions have changed the primary financial provider they use and an additional 9% said they are considering it. Banks have to and are trying to provide what customers want if they want to retain their existing customers.
Customers expect their bank to be where they are. Even before the pandemic, the usage of digital banking channels, such as online and mobile apps, was increasing among customers. This trend intensified during the pandemic as more customers started using digital channels. Since the usage of digital channels increase, financial institutes need to invest more in digital solutions.
The banking industry is undergoing massive digital disruption, with online deposits, mobile apps and e-bill payments, fundamentally becoming the norm. Increased consumer demand for digital banking services has given rise to numerous technological advancements within financial institutions with artificial intelligence (AI) at the core of these digital transformations
Below are seven simple steps commuters can use to increase engagement with digital banking. These provide with key considerations from planning to execution and everything in between for gaining loyalty and maximizing profitability.
Build a plan
Whether goal is to increase awareness of digital banking platform, or drive adoption of key features that improve retention and boost revenue, it’s important to start with a comprehensive plan. Document goals, identify which tactics have to employ to help achieve those goals, and determine how to measure success;
Empower staff
Before introducing a new feature for customers or members, create awareness and build advocacy among frontline staff. Engage them, train them and consider letting them participate first hand through pilot programs. Make sure they’re aware of the benefits so they can confidently speak to and promote them.
Along the way, gather feedback from staff and document questions to help develop in-products, FAQs for users. Assign internal “PRODUCT CHAMPIONS” who know the product well and can serve as a go-to for other staff who may have questions.
Develop meaningful, compelling messaging
Consumers see thousands of messages a day which means, messages risk getting lost in that sea of thousands (along with all the ads from other banks and credit unions).
So, if bank wants it’s digital capabilities to stand out, focus on the benefits. What do users really want? What benefit can they not live without? How to give that to them? And, to help standouts, differentiate digital solution with strategies.
Ask users to do something
If banks are going to ask for attention, command it and then reward that attention. The marketing material should always include a simple, straightforward call-to-action.
A call-to-action is the part of marketing message that tells the reader what they should be doing next. It should be direct, informative, and start with a command verb. A simple example is: “Download our mobile app” with graphics of the app store badges included (and in digital assets, linked directly to app in the respective app store).
Banks must adopt NCR Admin Platform to customize navigation to include links to social media pages like Facebook and Twitter.
* Leverage digital and traditional channels
The more frequently a person sees a message, and in more places, the more likely they are to engage and take action. Maximize awareness by promoting messages across channels. Promote them in branches and online, on ATM screens and in call centre.
Find ways to cross-promote digital banking. For example, during new account opening process, encourage enrolment in online banking. Or, if bank or credit union is doing a credit card promotion, use that as an opportunity to cross-promote mobile app. With the right design and minimal messaging, bank can get two messages in the space of one.
Assess Performance Regularly
Track the data. Every financial institution’s customer base is different, and some tactics work better than others. Make sure to regularly assess the performance of ads, emails, and visits to dedicated webpage. Stay flexible and modify where needed.
Remember, there’s a lot of noise out there in the market, and a lot of competition (not to mention shrinking attention spans). So, try using tips like these to generate and keep the attention on digital banking capabilities to drive adoption and engagement and help to meet and achieve the goals.
( The author is Chief Manager IAPM JK Bank, Zonal Office Mumbai )