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Great Expectations: Report Finds Banking Customers Demand More of Social, Mobile Channels

Banks around the globe have seen a significant decrease in customers’ reports of positive experiences in the last year, according to the 2014 World Retail Banking Report from Capgemini.

While customers continue to take advantage of multiple traditional and modern channels to meet their banking needs, social media and mobile platforms are gaining ground as customers seek quick and easy ways to access and manage their accounts whenever and wherever they are.

Today’s consumers have grown accustomed to other digital-dominant vendors like Google, Amazon and Apple, which continually develop and offer innovative solutions to make the user experience more seamless and convenient. So to the customer’s mind, why should their banks be any different?

Why shouldn’t they be able to send their friends money through Facebook? Why should professional financial advice require an appointment and branch visit? Why should ATM interfaces still look like they did in the 90s? Why shouldn’t a teller be able to deposit a check and show customers how to use the bank’s mobile app?

This attitude is especially common among Generation Y – so-called digital natives with a low tolerance for outmoded, clunky, or inconvenient services and products.

The report found that of all the age groups, Gen Y is considerably less likely to have positive experiences with their banks, indicating that their expectations are higher.

This could be a tipping point for banks as they seek to balance the needs of this new digitally dependent segment with those of long-held customers who place less importance on mobile and social.

The report also examined how positive experiences have a striking influence on profitable customer behaviors like loyalty and referrals, so it won’t suffice to simply find some kind of neutral middle ground. Banks must strive to generate more positive experiences to keep satisfaction high across the board and improve retention.

And indeed, some institutions around the world have begun implementing or experimenting with social-media-powered banking, like Facebook payments or customer service via social channels, and smartphone apps that aren’t just a mobile version of a website.

For example, Moven sells itself as a tool to help its customers keep an up-to-the-minute budget with instant notifications for every transaction, and automatic categorization and data on those transactions – without fees.

But for most institutions, two significant barriers remain:

  1. Legacy technology systems, methods and policies are not equipped to support mobile and social platforms, and upgrading these systems is an enormous and expensive undertaking.
  2. While customers may see social and mobile banking as a no-brainer, it’s fair to say they may not realize that working with third-party systems and platforms opens up a can of worms around privacy and data security.

Look no further than the grand-scale hacking attack against JPMorgan Chase in early October 2014 for evidence that talented hackers are waiting in the wings to exploit intrepid institutions at every turn. Experimental endeavors in social and mobile media are low-hanging fruit for these cyber criminals, so it’s no surprise banks haven’t charged ahead into the digital domain as vigorously as customers might prefer.

While this report offers an intriguing, and perhaps troubling, global picture of retail banking, enterprises should still focus on the voice of their own customers, as measured by current and thorough data, to drive decisions around customer experience management.

As you look ahead to 2015 this quarter, consider tapping CSP’s resources and expertise to guide your strategy. We are passionate about improving the customer experience by turning data into plans for action to drive results. Contact us to learn more.




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