How Banks Are Rethinking Customer Engagement In The Digital Era – Forbes
The banking business runs on relationships. For centuries, the bond between banks and their customers â especially small businesses â has served as the backbone of commerce and the lifeblood of every community. But as customer demand for new and better digital experiences reaches a fever pitch, the way banks think about building and maintaining relationships with customers is changing â fast.
Once the cornerstone of the banking experience, face-to-face interactions with customers are no longer a given. Increasingly, banks are interacting with customers through mobile and online banking transactions.
Take a look at some of the largest banks in the U.S. and the trend is clear. Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan are closing hundreds of branches in favor of digital, self-service banking options. Meanwhile, Bank of America and others have started introducing âfull-service automated financial assistantsâ (chatbots) that can perform simple, everyday tasks like budget tracking and making payments.
With the proliferation of cloud and mobile technologies, banks today have an unprecedented opportunity to redefine the banking experience and re-establish what banking means for their customers. This opportunity extends to every innovator in the space â especially those partnering with banks to help them build the banking experiences of the future.
But with so much innovation happening across every aspect of banking and financial services, where do banks start?
Banking Beyond The Branch, Payments And Small Business
To better understand the impact of technology on customer relationships in the banking industry, my company partnered with SourceMedia and American Banker to uncover how the industryâs top decision-makers are rethinking customer engagement for the digital era. Our survey â which involved more than 200 banking leaders and was conducted in August â found that banking beyond the branch, digital payments, and small business customers represent the top priorities for the banking industry over the next 24 months. By the numbers:
- Everyone surveyed agrees that technology is a disruptor. Nearly all (91%) banking leaders surveyed agree that new technologies are dramatically changing the way they engage with customers.
- Banking beyond the branch is the top priority. Looking ahead, banks plan to invest more in tech solutions that enable banking beyond the branch. Specifically, 86% report that mobile, digital payments, online/web are the top overall technology investment priorities.
- Small business payments are a key focus. When it comes to digital payments, small business customers are twice as important to banks as large businesses. Over the next 24 months, banks expect to place nearly as much focus on small business payments as they do consumer payments.
- The future of small and medium-sized business (SMB) banking is clearly digital. With regards to small business customers, 76% of bank leaders report that digital and mobile represent the highest-priority channels for growing SMB engagement over the next 24 months.