Balancing Digital Banking with Human Experience

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Digitization is transforming consumer behavior in every sphere of business, including banking. In 2015, mobile surpassed branches for the first time in terms of which platform US customers use to perform their weekly banking.

However, this does not mean the need for human element in banking has diminished. It only indicates a shift in customers’ expectations from their bank. More customers are now looking for personalized support and in-depth conversations related to sophisticated financial products.

Banks should recognize that they cannot entirely replace the physical connection to people. While online and mobile transactions cost a small fraction of what they cost in a physical branch, there is an increasing need to redefine how, when, and where customers can have the essential human experience with their bank.

According to a PwC report, as banks adapt to the growth in digital services, 20 percent of US bank branches will be cut by 2020. Even in the midst of customer demand for face-to-face services, America’s largest banks are closing hundreds of branches.

Although closing bank branches helps to manage cost pressures, banks need to find a middle-ground which enables them to preserve in-person services on a sustainable model. Technology innovations can help tackle this problem head-on, with radical new business models supported by next-generation tools.

One development is an Uber-like scheduling tool, Radius, which enables banks to manage a mobile workforce of advisors who can respond to customer demand.

Bhupender Singh, CEO of Intelenet Global Services, says that banks need to be strategic in the way they accommodate customers. Not all customers want to go solely online for the handling of sensitive financial information. This is where banks can look to be really distinctive in the way they harness technology to direct financial advisers to customers’ doorsteps.

Singh points out that the developments in mobile technology are driving customers to interact with banks in numerous ways. This means the need to integrate an omni-channel strategy that accommodates all customers is ever-increasing. Banks should offer a blend of online and in-person banking that complements traditional services.

Source: Intelenet; Sapient Nitro