My uncle recently told me that when he was 7, he went to his local bank and opened his first savings account. To track his account balance, a teller named Marjorie gave him a little notebook called a passbook. Every time he went in to make a deposit or a withdraw money, he would wait until Marjorie was available. He would hand over the passbook to Marjorie and she would stamp the transaction and his new account balance in the passbook. As much as he enjoyed seeing Marjorie, it was a cumbersome process to withdraw money when my uncle wanted to purchase something. First, he would need to get the purchase approved by my grandparents. Then, he would have to request a trip to the bank. He would have to make sure the bank was open, since it was only open until 3 p.m. on weekdays. Finally, he would have to remember to bring his passbook (though sometimes Marjorie let his forgetfulness slide).
While passbooks are now extinct and banks have come a long way with implementing technology, there is still work to be done.
Here are 7 insights that can help your bank’s digital transformation efforts.
1. Banks are not fully digital
Banks have been aggressively implementing technology offerings to improve customer experience. While financial institutions have made great strides, we are still not at the point where all banks provide consumers with the ability to conduct all their business digitally with a fairly easy customer experience. Research organization Avoka released a 2017 survey on digital transformation that outlined this disconnect.
- Most banks have 70‑90% abandonment rates when potential customers try to open an online account.
- Only 66% of personal banking products were deemed ready for online sales.
- Fewer than 25% of wealth and business banking products were found to have online applications.
2. Digital transformation is not just about technology
Traditional banks are trying to become “more digital” via digital transformation efforts which are attempting to “close the gap between what digital customers already expect and what analog businesses actually deliver.”
Digital transformation is not just about introducing more technology but it is also about reimagining the relationship between financial organizations and their customers. Banks now fully understand that they need to be cognizant of how they can better understand their customer rather than throwing another technological advancement at them.
Advancements in big data allow your bank to better analyze your customers’ activities and transactions, which enable better personalization and understanding – just like Marjorie used to deliver.
3. Physical banks provide a necessary service in this digital world
According to Accenture, 87% of customers will use their bank branches in the future. With all the online options, the following fact remains true – people still like going into bank branches. It seems counter-intuitive. Don’t consumers want to be able to do all their banking digitally?
Well it turns out that consumers want both options. Consumers want the convenience of online banking to monitor their accounts anytime, but the option to have an in-depth conversation when they need more information.
4. Financial customers are overwhelmed
With all that's at stake, people want reassurance that they are making the right financial choices. The reality is that most people are completely overwhelmed by the amount of financial choices available — whether it is investing or retirement planning.
For the older generation, accustomed to checkbooks, having the confidence that they are making the correct financial choices is even more difficult.
5. Appointment scheduling empowers bank branches
No one wants to wait at a bank branch. Appointment scheduling solves two problems just about every bank has – footfall is inconsistent, and lines can be long.
It's an easy win in digital transformation efforts because it allows customers to pick their own visit time, and it allows branches to shift staff accordingly. Our solution combines traditional in-branch services seamlessly with new digital channels to provide better customer experiences.
6. Digital transformation is survival of the fittest
Companies that are digital leaders don’t just do better than the laggards – they do substantially better.
A study from Harvard Business School said that the top 25% of companies on a ranking of digital capabilities posted a three-year average gross margin of 55 percent, compared to just 37 percent for the laggards.
An IDC report emphasized, "One-third of the top 20 firms in industry segments will be disrupted by new competitors within five years.“
They also emphasized that it's a matter of” transform or perish." Think about the possibility of 6-7 of the top 20 banks in the world being disrupted within the next 5 years.
7. Our customers are embracing digital transformation
Our customers are top banks that are undergoing digital transformation efforts, and who have adopted appointment scheduling software to make it easier for customers to meet with them.
Let's take a look at our customer KBC Bank Ireland, a division of KBC Bank out of Belgium. KBC was just named by FT.com as one of the top 5 most digitally advanced financial institutions out of 59 banks in Europe. KBC Bank Ireland offers digital appointment booking for both their mortgages and home loan services. Earlier this month, KBC Bank Ireland launched a ground-breaking new mobile app for new customers. That allows customers to open, activate, and use their bank account at any time, within just five minutes.
We know that banks that are the most successful at their digital transformational efforts will continue to gain market share. Success in banking is now defined as delivering the best customer experience for all their customers.
For example, some banks are trying to replicate the difficulty the older generations have with eyesight and hearing by conducting training calls with their support staff with low volume and fuzzy screens.
Finding solutions that match the needs of clients will help to usher these banks – and their customers – into the financial world of the future.
You might also like our 2019 research: Modern Banking Research.