By Alex Sion
SapientNitro, part of Sapient, has partnered with online financial management solutions provider Geezeo and respected blogger and BANK 2.0 bestselling author Brett King to publish “Banking on the future: new era of engagement banking,” an interactive white paper that examines the impact of technology on the retail banking industry and outlines what banks can do to innovate and stay relevant.
We are in the era of engagement banking. Customers today demand an array of options at their disposal, including in-person contact at branches, online and mobile banking, interactive voice response systems, ATMs, direct mail and more. There has been a dynamic power shift in the personal banking paradigm, and the consumer is now calling the shots.
The report begins by discussing the time when community banks were the center of civic life. First, the ATM then digital technology – such as online banking and mobile banking – came along and changed the game. Digital channels made financial transactions efficient but also distanced banks from their customers. Relationships were cast aside in favour of more profitable, efficient and convenient channels.
A SapientNitro survey reveals that today 70% of people do not know the name of someone at their bank. Banks became bigger, lack of personal knowledge and understanding increased risks on both sides, the economy tanked, and consumer distrust swelled.
In the midst of an economic downturn and financial legislation reform, perhaps nothing has affected the banking industry more in the past few years than the impact of technological innovations on customer behaviour. The rapid mainstream acceptance and ubiquity of mobile smartphones with applications, the explosion of social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, and the proliferation of online banking, bill paying, and personal finance tools have collectively made an indelible impact on the way customers prefer to interact with their banks. Banks have had to shift their focus from in-branch sales and services to engaging current and potential customers on their own terms – when, where and how it is convenient for the customer.
Brett King, author of BANK 2.0 adds: “Rapid changes in behaviour, channel interactions, modality, brand equity and customer service expectations mean banks need to innovate around customers in development cycles measured in days and weeks, not months or years. These shifts in customer behaviour are perhaps only just beginning.”
“At Geezeo, we’re seeing that customers are decreasingly making a distinction between what is physical, such as interpersonal interactions with bank tellers, and what is digital, such as online bill payment. We have found that bank customers expect a high level of customer service to be delivered seamlessly and consistently across multiple channels,” added Peter Glyman, co-founder of Geezeo. “Ironically, the same technology that disrupted the bank-customer relationship holds the key to closing the customer experience gap. Banks that leverage new tools, such as Personal Financial Management, to enhance the customer experience across touch points will be the winners.”
The “Banking on the future” report provides insight into:
• How new technologies, such as geotagging, augmented reality, near field communications (NFC) and radio frequency identification (RFID) can enhance customer connectedness and engagement
• How the online banking experience can leverage Personal Financial Management (PFM)
• How mass adoption of mobile, mobile payments and person-to-person payments (P2P) will shape banking in the near future
• How to successfully engage with influencers via social media
• What innovative banks will do to drive improvements in operations and customer service in the next five years
“Banks must innovate or be disintermediated out of existence,” said King. “It wasn’t that long ago that we were using public phones to make calls, going to buy our music in stores and renting videos from the corner store, but these industries have been completely disrupted in recent times by changes in customer behaviour. Unfortunately, the changes coming to the retail banking industry are even more massive and will challenge leaders in this space in the years ahead.”
The “Banking on the Future” interactive white paper can be viewed at: www.sapient.com/engagementbanking.
About the author
Alex Sion, vice president of financial services at SapientNitro
SapientNitro, part of Sapient creates and engineers highly relevant experiences that accelerate business growth and fuel brand advocacy for clients. By combining multi-channel marketing, multi-channel commerce, and the technology that binds them, the company aims to influence customer behaviour across the spectrum of content, communication, and commerce channels, which would result in deeper, more meaningful relationships between customers and brands. SapientNitro services global leaders such as Citi, The Coca-Cola Company, Mars, Singapore Airlines, Target, and Vodafone through our operations in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. For more information, visit http://www.sapientnitro.com or on Twitter @sapientnitro.
Founded in 2006, Geezeo offers an integrated suite of Online Financial Management (OFM) tools and services including Personal Financial Management (PFM) software for banks and credit unions. PFM empowers online customers, giving them a holistic view of their financial assets, liabilities and budgets. Geezeo’s unique platforms help financial institutions develop online customer dialogue while generating growth through customer acquisition and increased wallet share. For more information on the privately held company, visit www.geezeo.com.
BANK 2.0 – How customer behaviour and technology will change the future of financial services
In this report, Marshall Cavendish (March 2010) exposes the massive flaws in the retail banking system due to dramatic shifts that have taken place in customer behaviour and the complete failure of banks to recognize and respond to those shifts. As a writer, King stimulates, entertains and challenges his readers to rethink long held traditions that are challenged by rapidly changing customer behaviour. Whether a banker, an entrepreneur or a consumer of financial services – BANK 2.0 is an entertaining read that challenges the very concept of what banking means in today’s changing society. Follow Brett on Twitter @brettking, or watch his blog at http://www.banking4tomorrow.com.