The financial sector is experiencing a once-in-a-generation transformation. Millennials and Generation Z are demanding a different digital banking experience, creating a wave of change that will sweep away banks that are unprepared. If digitally-savvy users are unable to get the services they require, at the speed they need, they will simply log off and switch to a neobank.
Renato Oliveira is CEO and chairman of the board at omnichannel digital banking platform ebankIT. The platform enables banks and credit unions to ‘run lean, run smart’ as well as ‘innovate fast, building long and meaningful relationships with their audience’.
Here, he shares his thoughts on how banks need to evolve and humanise at the same time.
Over the last few years, all around the world, millions of consumers have deep-dived into digital banking, experiencing for the first time the perks and possibilities of both web and mobile banking, the ease of managing every issue from home, and the benefits of receiving personalised offers based on their own experience and preferences.
At the same time, there are two generations changing the game. There are no doubts that banks and credit unions must attract the Millennial Generation, which is starting to reach C-level positions. But, there is an even younger generation, rapidly entering the banking world: Gen Z.
Raised amid smartphones and social media, this generation is used to being constantly connected and to get the most efficient and personalised services, whether is movie recommendations on Netflix or product suggestions on Amazon. They will not tolerate legacy banking practices and time-consuming, paper-based processes associated with the old world of branches. Customers now expect onboarding to be simple and friction-free, making it as easy to open a bank account as it is to start a social media profile.
Yet an efficient experience is not enough. Customers want to be treated as an individual by a bank that really knows them. Therefore, institutions need to master the art of fostering relationships. Digital banking does not have to feel emotionless. By humanising their services, institutions can meet this growing demand for a warmer, more personalised experience.
1. Create seamless, simple, intuitive digital self-service
Financial institutions can enhance the digital experience by giving customers access to real-life interactions via technologies such as messaging applications, dedicated direct connect buttons, video, and front-end chat. Voice AI, chatbots, and other technology can handle simple interactions, but customers must be able to talk to a human quickly whenever they need to.
2. Be flexible – let them choose the channels they prefer
To address customers’ complicated financial needs, banks must implement an omnichannel approach that seamlessly incorporates digital and physical channels. The objective should be to make the functionalities of physical branches available online and back up digital services with human support so banks can meet all their customers’ needs.
3. Let the data map the journey
Banks should carefully examine what pages visitors view and the content they engage with. Every journey should be assessed to find and eliminate points of friction. Digital journeys should be personalised to each customer.
Enabling customer engagement
ebankIT enables banks to deliver humanised, personalised, and accessible experiences for their customers. Our team is always developing new features, enabling financial institutions to continuously improve the customer journey. For example, over the last few years, ebankIT has created a wide catalogue of features. It combined state-of-the-art analytics solutions with advanced gamification mechanics. The ebankIT platform now offers banks and credit unions the tools to deep dive into relevant data and come back to the surface with a renewed and increasingly proactive strategy. Consequently, financial institutions become able to offer a wide range of digital services. This includes the best-in-class personal financial management (PFM) tools.
Recently, ebankIT launched another important feature. The User Engagement Hub gives financial institutions a private and exclusive communication channel with their customers, enabling them to leverage the power of humanisation. Banks can use the Hub to give their customers the ability to rate their app experience, test new features, and give instant feedback if the app crashes or they have another problem.
This human-centric approach is the alpha and the omega of ebankIT’s roadmap. Knowing that financial institutions need to excel in the ability to foster digital relationships, ebankIT has become laser-focused on humanising the digital banking experience. We understand that digital banking does not have to feel emotionless. It is possible to create person-to-person interactions remotely and to build trusting relationships. In fact, offering an omnichannel, personalised and customer-centric experience is the only way to attract and engage with a new wave of digital customers.
Our technology lets banks listen to their customers and makes those customers feel heard. This two-way conversation is the essence of a humanised experience. This is the best way to win customers’ hearts (and loyalty) as we enter this new era of digital banking.