By : Russ Tarver
November 01, 2018 08:00 AM
CFIs must make efforts to ensure their digital banking strategies are aligned with evolving customer expectations.
Digital banking presents great opportunities for community financial institutions (CFIs) to compete effectively with their larger competitors and extend their relationships with customers.
However, it also brings many challenges, and one of the most critical is determining where to focus their efforts. As these providers will have a fraction of the resources of national players, they must be selective in what solutions they choose to develop. Therefore, it is essential that they concentrate their efforts in areas that will be of most value to their customers.
Are you aware of what your customers want?
Understanding what consumers want should be a top priority when developing any online or mobile banking platform. Drawing together information from every line of business and funneling this insight into every stage of the process is vital for achieving two main goals: 1) Effectively delivering the services users expect 2) Competing with the offerings that larger, national competitors can provide.
So, what key things should CFIs be looking for to better interpret this data and turn it into useful, actionable insight? An essential first step needs to be familiarizing themselves with the behavioral patterns of their customers. What channels are they most likely to engage? What tools and features are most commonly used? Where are their gaps in services that consumers would like to see filled?
It's important for community banks and credit unions to not limit their scope solely to what people are doing within existing banking apps. The way in which people interact with technology throughout all aspects of their everyday lives has changed immensely over the past few years, and there are valuable insights to be gained from studying these trends.
Looking at what innovations and services are gaining popularity in other areas, such as how people use their smartphones or how they communicate with friends and family, can provide great insight to this.
It doesn’t take long for new technologies to go from emerging to an accepted, everyday part of life. If community banks and credit unions aren’t careful and are too slow to recognize these potential trends, they could be left playing catchup and run the risk of being seen as behind the times by their tech-savvy customers.
Learning lessons from digital developments
For example, it has only been a couple of years since the use of fingerprint scanners and facial recognition technology became widespread across most mobile devices. These features have quickly become an indispensable part of how many consumers interact with their devices. The idea of having to type in a PIN or password every time a user wants to check their social media feeds or text messages now seems completely antiquated and inconvenient.
Use of mobile devices can also be extended into the actual branch. For example, the use of beacons can alert a banker via tablet when a specific customer has entered the branch, enabling them to provide efficient service with a human touch.
Other examples of integrated digital banking tech include offerings like FICO score and skip-a-pay functionalities that can be built directly into the digital banking platform, making the user experience more dynamic and engaging.
Meanwhile, another emerging digital banking technology is an offering called voice banking. Some FIs are beginning to offer the ability to check balances or conduct simple informational requests using your voice. Though far from mainstream, it does provide a glimpse into the possibilities of mobile banking and future of the industry.
These are just a few examples of how, by paying close attention to what their customers are doing and understanding which technologies they consider a key part of their everyday lives, financial institutions can respond to the desires of consumers and deliver a digital experience that meets their expectations.
Doing this successfully can enhance their personal relationships with customers and ensure that CFIs are not missing out on innovations their larger competitors are investing in.
See what the most transformative digital banking solutions are doing to help CFIs stand out and compete at our new digital banking portal.
To see what the smartest digital banking solutions do differently - plus what one community credit union was has accomplished with their digital banking technology - download the latest ebook from NCR.