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Future-proofing customer experience in financial services

Hand holding mobile phone with messaging bubbles to show customer experience in financial services
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The banking industry is experiencing significant change, and industry disruptors have simplified every customer interaction, reshaping the way consumers handle money in the physical and digital world.  

As they expand their product offerings, banks and financial institutions are facing new challenges in a crowded market: establishing credibility through security, delivering top-notch customer service, and retaining customers in an industry where customer loyalty rates are declining year over year

Here are a few ways banks and financial service institutions can harness the messaging channels customers use every day to navigate the delicate balance between innovation and trust, meeting evolving customer expectations and fostering customer loyalty.   

Ensure secure transactions through mobile verification 


Emerging banks have expanded their services from checking and savings accounts to provide a comprehensive range of services and offer loans, mortgages, and other lending formats like BNPL (buy now, pay later). Ultimately, this makes their offers stickier as  retaining customers is their biggest challenge.  

It's crucial for banks to ensure that all these transactions are secure and seamless to stay competitive, keep regulators happy, and maintain customer trust. This is where mobile verification plays a vital role. By implementing robust verification processes through SMS, email, and conversational messaging channels, banks can authenticate customer identity smoothly and safeguard against fraudulent activities. 

Sinch Verification API offers various mobile verification methods, including SMS OTP, flash calling, and newer options like data verification. By striking a balance between security and convenience, Sinch ensures transactions happen safely without causing unnecessary friction – and at scale (check out how Triodos Bank in Spain does this for over 170,000 customers).  


Using verification to stay ahead of fraud  


In the event of fraud, timing is everything. With two-way messaging, banks can proactively address potential fraudulent transactions by sending a customer a message over a number of channels – and ensure the customer can promptly confirm or deny the transaction directly within that same channel. With two-way messaging, banks can enhance their fraud prevention measures and respond swiftly to suspicious activities, ensuring security without harming customer experience

That’s exactly what Nets, a leading European payment processor, did to help prevent fraudulent payment transactions while also providing better user experience and ensuring a high level of security.    

Open new channels to increase customer touchpoints 


Traditional ways of reaching customers, like push notifications, often fall short in terms of effectiveness and fail to provide the opportunity for meaningful conversations with customers. Research shows that only about half of customers enable push notifications, and even fewer keep them turned on after 90 days. That means many customers miss crucial updates and offers. Banks need a better solution — a way to connect with customers on channels they actually use and engage with. 


The power of conversational banking channels 


Conversational banking channels like email, SMS, WhatsApp, Viber, or Line offer the potential for increased customer engagement, but just 22% of companies use more than 3 channels for conversational engagement. With Sinch Conversation API, banks can seamlessly connect with customers across various channels, both traditional and conversational. 

Customer experience in financial services through Meta channels like WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger

Future-proofing customer experience in financial services is about enabling real-time, personalized communication. As banking products become more complex and non-financial services like Apple competitors become more active, it will become increasingly critical to convey information beyond push notifications or SMS.  

Conversational channels offer a whole new level of interaction and engagement, with a visual and interactive banking customer experience that allows people to act within the conversation. Imagine guiding customers through a purchase or introducing them to a new financial product that’s tailored to their needs — all within a seamless messaging platform or via email. Those are the kind of experiences that customers are craving – and we expect this type of banking trends to only grow.    

Create efficient automation through two-way messaging and chatbots connected to contact centers 


It's crucial for financial institutions to find innovative ways to improve customer service levels while maintaining operational efficiency as their offerings become more complex and their customer bases grow.  

Consider the scenario mentioned above, where a bank offers checking and savings accounts, loans, BNPL options, and investments. As a bank, servicing such a comprehensive portfolio means not only opening new channels for customer service, but also using automation to simplify tasks and answer frequently asked questions. Chatbots can handle simple queries and gradually transition to more complex conversations to improve customer support.  

But what happens when customer inquiries become more complicated? Automation can help banks inform customers while transferring complex questions and big decisions like loans and mortgages to a human agent.  

There are two main benefits here:  

  • First, it removes friction from the customer journey when considering new financial products or services. With tools like loan simulators powered by a chatbot, banks can empower customers to inform themselves without the need for extensive website searches. This personalized approach enhances the overall customer experience by simplifying their consideration process. 

  • Second, it means that banks enjoy reduced costs and improved operational efficiency. Customers benefit from quick and tailored responses from chatbots that guide them towards making informed choices, and human agents can focus on addressing complex customer needs and closing the deal to further enhance overall service quality. 

Integrating digital and human capabilities for seamless customer service 


When customers are considering taking out a loan or a mortgage (especially for the first time), they’ll be looking for sales information and guides on how to sort their financial details. While automation can provide basic information, their decision-making process likely will require human assistance — they won’t settle for an FAQ section or chatbots alone.  

Efficient automation that combines omnichannel communication, including automated and human customer care, can create a seamless omnichannel banking experience. That’s how Argenta, Belgium’s fifth largest bank, used a chatbot named Charlie to help overworked agents focus on more complex customer service tasks and significantly improve customer satisfaction.     

Crafting exceptional customer experiences in financial services 


The banking industry continues to evolve, driven by the need for secure transactions and enhanced customer experiences. Sinch Conversation API empowers banks to ensure secure transactions while expanding customer touchpoints through various channels. Adding automation and chatbots on top of this, banks can provide excellent, scalable customer service for complex financial products.  

Banks strive to deliver exceptional customer experiences, and choosing the right communication channel at the right time is a critical last step to meaningfully engage the customer. There’s a wealth of channels available for sending rich, personalized messaging campaigns, but it’s up to you to make sure you’re choosing the right ones to unleash unforgettable customer experiences.  

Want to dive deeper? Download our complete guide to financial services communications below.

Financial services communications guide