In this article:
- Banking trend #1: Customers want to text their bank
- Banking trend #2: Anticipate queries with personalized, interactive solutions
- Banking trend #3: Customers are ready for digital- and AI-based relationships — but trust is key
- Banking trend #4: People love tech but still need real human connections
- Banking trend #5: Privacy and security must be always-on and visible
- The future of financial services? Connected, empowering customer experiences
Sinch surveyed 3,000 global banking and financial services consumers to bring you a snapshot of the latest trends in digital banking and customer experience. We wanted to understand what makes a great banking experience and how banks should interact with today’s consumers.
It turns out consumers are open to getting messages and notifications from banks on a growing number of channels, but they either don’t have access to these features or aren’t aware of them. The lesson: In no other industry is there more pent-up demand for better omnichannel experiences than in financial services. Now it’s up to industry leaders to capitalize on this gap.
So, how can financial services providers build better experiences and lasting customer relationships in a digital world? How can they best engage customers while addressing their privacy and security concerns?
We identified five digital banking technology trends that you can’t ignore if you’re looking to step up customer experience — which you really should. Our research showed that 1 in 3 customers under 40 have switched banks to get better mobile CX.
Read on to find out what consumers value most, what earns their trust and loyalty, and how they want to engage with financial partners.
Banking trend #1: Customers want to text their bank
It’s time to transition from one-way mobile notifications to two-way conversations. Our research shows consumers really want to message their bank.
53% of our respondents say they’re frustrated when they can’t reply to a mobile message, which makes two-way digital conversations a golden opportunity for financial institutions to deliver more satisfying experiences.
Banking trend #2: Anticipate queries with personalized, interactive solutions
The research also shows a clear “opportunity gap” between how financial services companies engage with their customers today, versus how customers would like them to do it. For instance, nearly 9 in 10 customers say they’d like to receive personalized financial advice from their bank, but fewer than 3 in 10 get this today.
Again, that’s a unique opportunity to create better experiences by proactively addressing customers’ needs. And while you’re at it, why not do it on the channels that suit them, using rich and personalized media?
Our findings show that banking consumers want to experience rich-media interactions via messaging:
- More than 80% would find value in a personalized video tour or tutorial
- 73% would like a personalized financial assessment via messaging.
Banking trend #3: Customers are ready for digital- and AI-based relationships — but trust is key
Smart banks are heavily investing in technology like conversational messaging, AI, automation, machine learning, and security to enhance customer experience. But unsurprisingly, customers are only willing to embrace these new experiences if they trust their bank.
According to our research, people who trust their bank are more comfortable discussing financial matters on a messaging app than those who don’t.
The research also reveals a strong correlation between positive experiences and trust. In other words, banks need to show they care! But many aren’t quite there yet:
- 93% of consumers say they want their bank to know them and their banking needs...
- ...But only 33% feel their bank delivers this.
Banking trend #4: People love tech but still need real human connections
People love the speed and efficiency of chatbots, but customers still want to feel a human connection, especially in moments of frustration. 40% of our respondents say they want to talk to a human agent when frustrated.
What does this mean for the banking industry? Great digital CX is about balancing digitization and automation with good old human interactions — and letting customers jump effortlessly from one channel to another.
Banking trend #5: Privacy and security must be always-on and visible
Delivering good experiences at every key step of the customer journey is critical for building trust, and of course, so is security. Banks need to make every experience feel safe and secure, and, even better, show it.
Here are some examples of what can help ease customers’ security concerns:
- Communicating with a human instead of a chatbot
- Getting clear verification from their bank that mobile conversations are secure
- Using messaging features inside their secure banking app
- Being able to switch from an automated conversation (i.e., chatbot) to a live customer service agent
The future of financial services? Connected, empowering customer experiences
Big opportunities await banks that are ready to create a secure ecosystem for conversations and offer personalized experiences that add value at every step, all while maintaining human connections.
But where should you start? What does this look like in real life? Here are a few practical tips and examples to get you moving on the path to winning banking experiences:
Support secure conversations
Give customers options to chat with representatives through the banking app or using a verified phone number over messaging apps — always with an eye toward security. These messaging-based interactions are an important option for customers, who nearly always have their phone on them for a messaging exchange but may not be in a spot to have a phone conversation or log in via computer.
Think real-time, value-adding interactions
Remember, customers are craving empowering experiences that make life easier, for example, receiving and responding to banking alerts, paying bills, getting information about financial products, or completing a loan application, all via messaging.
Make it channel agnostic
Some of your customers will feel comfortable with in-app messaging, while others will prefer speaking to a real person on the phone. The key is ensuring you have the right channel for each of your customers — whether it’s SMS, MMS, RCS, chat apps, social apps, email, or voice. All of these play a critical part in digital customer experience.
Automating customer service
Not all customer questions require a human touch. For more routine interactions (e.g. “how late is my local branch open?”), banks can deploy messaging chatbots or rich media messaging response chips (these are pre-programmed scripts and interactive features delivered automatically through messaging).
And for customers that need even more support than automated conversations can provide, the app can instantly re-route the customer from messaging to a live call. Did we mention 95% of customers want to be able to do that?
Push-based financial news
For customers that want to stay abreast of leading financial indicators or news, design push-based campaigns customized to the individual — whether it's breaking news about specific stock holdings in your customer’s portfolio, or releases of economic indicators that affect those nearing retirement.
A young consumer may be looking for a used car loan, while an older customer may want on-demand retirement advice. Messaging can be an important part of the conversation, giving banks the chance to engage in conversations triggered by a customer’s recent financial milestones.
For example, “I noticed you recently set up a direct deposit to your savings account. Would you like to discuss money market options to get a higher return on those funds?” Using rich media or RCS, banks can also deliver rich features such as assessments to recommend specific mortgage products.
Ultimately, no matter the ecosystem of channels and features, the key to great CX in banking is delivering value while building trust at every step of the customer journey — and personalization is a major part of the CX equation.
Want to find out even more about what’s driving customer engagement and get additional tips for staying ahead of the curve? Get our complete banking and financial services customer experience report here or download our guide to financial services communications.