3 Ways to Build Consumers’ Comfort Level With Digital Banking Tools

The pandemic pushed many consumers into digital channels years ahead of schedule. Now that they've grown used to simpler online and mobile tasks, financial institutions must work to make more complex functions appealing.

Financial marketers and developers focus on the generations who grew up surrounded by digital technology, but many people pushed into this tech via Covid effectively remain “digital newbies,” especially as far as their finances are concerned.

The secret to banks and credit unions maintaining digital momentum will be keeping these relative newcomers interested in expanding their usage beyond the balance queries, transfers and remote deposits of the pandemic. But what will draw them to online budgeting tools, investment applications, lending platforms, mobile banking, and peer-to-peer payment platforms?

Adaptability — on the part of providers.

Financial institutions must adapt their offerings — in fact, it’s imperative that they do. Gartner predicts that between now and 2030, the key to survival for financial institutions lies in how well they counter new competition, changing customer behavior and further advancements in technology.

Let’s examine some key hurdles that digital newcomers encounter today, and some measures financial institutions can take to overcome them.

1. Avoid Repetitive Requests for the Same Personal Information

Disjointed onboarding procedures can result in institutions asking consumers multiple times for their address, phone number, account number and other basic information, adding to their frustration level.

Infinite Patience is in Short Supply:

Deloitte research indicates that 38% of new banking customers will abandon the onboarding process if they think it’s taking too long or requires more information than they are willing to disclose.

Deloitte also found that 26% of respondents cite “easy enrollment and login” as the most important standard in choosing a financial institution.

Another facet of this challenge is native-app-only onboarding. If you require prospects to download your native app to set up an account, you add another barrier. That gives them another reason to walk away.

In traditional onboarding, required documents must be culled from many sources, demanding that staff spend significant time pulling from many sources, delaying the process. A Bain & Company study found that it costs $500 or more to onboard a single client and delays drive up costs even more.

Robotic process automation (RPA) can replicate such human tasks at speed. RPA can automate simple, rules-based steps of transferring content from documents, while its cognitive skills can understand the content and process the diverse set of banking and identity documents associated with onboarding.

These improvements not only streamline the process but delight customers, benefiting the bottom line.

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2. Accommodate Mobile-First Consumers

Some financial institutions still have most of their processes based on desktop applications, and if they do have a mobile option, it can make for a disjointed experience.

In fact, today that approach is backwards.

Meet People Where They Are:

No organization can afford to ignore the huge and growing market of mobile-first consumers.

With increased smartphone adoption across generations, digital platforms have become a key channel for banking services and a mobile-first approach is essential. By designing an end-to-end experience specifically for mobile users and using it as a starting point for building their desktop interface, financial institutions can ensure their onboarding process works for all users across all devices.

When consumers have the option to complete onboarding seamlessly through a mobile browser, they are more likely to complete the process.

And they are also going to carry away a favorable impression of your organization. There’s a big difference between entering ID information via a smartphone keyboard and simply snapping a photo of the document and the information being populated automatically.

Thus, mobile capture technology, increasingly used for check deposits, can speed up this process by capturing document images and extracting and validating relevant information. This enhances and simplifies the consumer’s experience.

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3. Eliminate Process Snags That Delay Responses

If a problem arises with someone’s application or if additional information is required, they expect to be notified immediately, not two or three days later.

People expect an institution’s representatives to be available and understand their context and needs no matter how they interact with the bank or credit union. But institutions’ day-to-day operational processes often become unnecessarily complex, adding time and cost to routine tasks and impeding the delivery of responsive customer service.

Institutions need to understand where and why processes are failing customers and employees. Using process mining software, institutions can analyze their operations. This will help identify where processes can be improved through the use of RPA and other solutions.

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