Arjun Singh Rathore
Consumers around the world are rapidly embracing digital banking. Incumbents have little time to adjust to this new reality or risk becoming obsolete
In these times of increasing social distancing, digital banking is especially essential for staying connected with your bank or credit union customers while providing them with a simple, contactless way to manage their day-to-day banking tasks.
DIGITAL is the new buzzword that has caused disruption in many industry segments, including banking. The first form of banking process transformation involved the conversion of manual to automated processes.
Unlike industries like healthcare, financial services primarily deal with structured quantitative data, which makes it easy to digitize and automate processes. It’s a double-edged sword. Financial services institutions may have more effective digital transformation initiatives than other industries, but it’s also easier for attackers to launch digital-native financial institutions.
With many tech giants and fintech companies encroaching on their businesses, banks need to step up their digital transformation efforts and embrace technologies such as machine learning, automation, and blockchain.
Digital transformation is the process of integrating digital technologies into all aspects of a business to meet changing market and business demands. It aims to increase the efficiency 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 the necessary technologies.
At the same time, banks must embrace changes in the customer experience. With technological advances, customer behaviors and expectations are changing. According to a recent survey report, more than half (53%) of financial institution consumers have changed their primary financial service provider and a further 9% said they were considering doing so. Banks must and try 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 use of digital banking channels, such as online and mobile apps, was increasing among customers. This trend intensified during the pandemic as more and more customers started using digital channels. As the use of digital channels increases, financial institutions need to invest more in digital solutions.
The banking sector is undergoing massive digital disruption, with online deposits, mobile apps and electronic bill payments basically becoming the norm. Growing consumer demand for digital banking services has resulted in many technological advancements within financial institutions with artificial intelligence (AI) at the heart of these digital transformations
Below are seven simple steps commuters can use to increase their engagement with digital banking. These provide key considerations from planning to execution and everything in between to build loyalty and maximize profitability.
Build a plan
Whether the goal is to increase awareness of the digital banking platform or drive adoption of key features that improve retention and increase revenue, it’s important to start with a comprehensive plan. Document goals, identify tactics to use to help achieve those goals, and determine how to measure success;
Before introducing a new feature for customers or members, raise awareness and build advocacy with frontline staff. Hire them, train them, and consider letting them participate directly in pilot programs. Make sure they know the benefits so they can talk about and promote them with confidence.
Along the way, collect staff feedback and document questions to help develop integrated products, FAQs for users. Assign internal “PRODUCT CHAMPIONS” who are knowledgeable about the product and can serve as a point of reference for other staff who may have questions.
Develop meaningful and compelling messages
Consumers see thousands of messages a day, which means messages are at risk of getting lost in that sea of thousands (along with all the ads from other banks and credit unions).
So if the bank wants its digital capabilities to stand out, focus on the benefits. What do users really want? What advantage can they not do without? How do I give them that? And, to help the stars, differentiate the digital solution with strategies.
Ask users to do something
If banks are going to demand attention, command it and reward that attention. Marketing materials should always include a simple and direct call to action.
A call to action is the part of the marketing message that tells the reader what to do next. It should be direct, informative and start with a command verb. A simple example is: “Download our mobile app” with app store badge graphics included (and in digital assets, linked directly to the app in the respective app store).
Banks should adopt the 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 post, and in more places, the more likely they are to engage and take action. Maximize awareness by promoting messages across all channels. Promote it in branches and online, on ATM screens and in call centers.
Find ways to cross-promote digital banking. For example, during the process of opening a new account, encourage online banking registration. Or, if the bank or credit union is doing a credit card promotion, use it as an opportunity to cross-promote the mobile app. With the right design and minimal messages, the bank can receive two messages in one.
Evaluate performance regularly
Follow the data. Every financial institution’s customer base is different, and some tactics work better than others. Be sure to regularly evaluate the performance of advertisements, emails and visits to the dedicated webpage. Stay flexible and modify as needed.
Remember, there’s a lot of noise in the market and a lot of competition (not to mention diminished attention spans). So try to use tips like these to generate and sustain attention to digital banking capabilities to drive adoption and engagement and help reach and achieve goals.
(The author is Chief Director IAPM JK Bank, Zonal Office Mumbai)