Activating Digital Banking: It’s Do or Die (or Be Left Behind)

Banks and credit unions face two key challenges to ensure success of digital banking: helping non-digital or new-to-digital consumers to understand online and mobile banking basics, and getting digitally active consumers to move beyond transactional banking and engage more of an institution’s digital capabilities. A passive approach is no longer enough.

For banking providers and consumers worldwide, the pandemic put the transformation to digital into overdrive. It’s the number one priority for financial institutions globally in 2021.

Leading financial institutions recognize that the opportunity for digital growth continues to accelerate at a rapid pace. The banks and credit unions that act on this opportunity will catapult themselves to market leaders.

Activating digital to support digital growth is foundational to the consumer and employee digital experience. To succeed, banks and credit unions must improve and support people’s digital banking knowledge, whether through assisted-serve with the frontline or self-serve with consumers directly.

Contrary To Popular Belief:

“Build it and they will come” is NOT a successful digital activation growth strategy.

Too often, financial institutions invest in improving digital banking solutions without making the necessary investments to maximize consumer adoption and usage. While speed to market remains critical, developing a digital activation growth strategy for people is what sets the leading financial institutions apart. Although simple in theory, most banking providers are not yet aligned on managing the volume, cadence or depth of knowledge required to support digital transformation.

  • Digital adoption in banking means achieving a state in which both employees and consumers can use digital assets and tools as they are meant to be used and to their fullest extent.
  • Digital activation growth is when employees and target audiences are continually increasing their digital fluency, not only learning and using the basic functions of a bank or credit union’s digital assets but maximizing the use of multiple digital tools and product features.
  • Digital Demos are used by consumers and employees to understand digital banking basics as well as complex digital banking features. Instead of reading instructions or watching videos, they gain first-hand experience with digital products by walking through each journey before they use it for real. Digital Demos are used across all lines of business, retail banking, business banking, wealth management, etc.

A great example of digital activation is when People’s United Bank launched AlwaysChecking, a comprehensive digital identity protection service offered to everyone. People’s United Bank created Digital Demos to teach people how to enroll, login and add information to AlwaysChecking.

They made sure all their employees were aware of the new features and learned how they worked prior to launch. The moment the service went live to consumers, frontline staff were able to field digital conversations with people, and account holders were able to self-serve and learn how to use the service on the People United Bank website.

Build Customer Confidence to Accelerate Digital Usage

Every banking provider has experienced a new wave of people that didn’t bank digitally before the pandemic or were only occasionally using digital banking. Financial institutions are faced with educating frontline teams on how to support these customers and, concurrently, needing to educate them directly on self-serve channels.

A telling example of this was Scotiabank’s launch of Bank Your Way, an information hub on the Scotiabank website that teaches older adults how to safely bank online or by mobile, designed expressly for this demographic. Scotiabank discovered at the beginning of the pandemic (April and May 2020), that individuals age 55 and older represented 60% of all newly adopted digital consumers (meaning they logged into online banking or the mobile app). This new wave of people had not banked digitally before, so it was vital to educate the frontline teams supporting them.

Digital Demos were created to walk people through digital banking basics, such as checking a balance and account history, paying bills, transferring money between accounts, and sending and receiving Interac e-Transfers (similar to P2P payments). These Digital Demos let users practice the steps screen by screen.

Though speed was critical in launching Bank Your Way, Scotiabank continues to regularly add digital banking “know-how” for all its consumers.

It is clear that people in 2021 have higher expectations of their banking providers’s digital capabilities and need more information at their fingertips. Horizn’s training platform allows banks and credit unions to syndicate digital knowledge across their various communication channels:

  • Banks and credit unions can integrate Horizn Digital Demos for customer self-serve on their websites, product pages, feature pages, support pages and knowledge hubs.
  • Within key email marketing campaigns, financial institutions are using Horizn Digital Demos to drive awareness of new digital features as well as accelerate usage of existing innovation.
  • In the authenticated space, banks and credit unions can embed Digital Demos through mobile app support and within chatbots.

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Consumers Expect Frontline and Call Center Staff to Have Digital Know-How

Many banks and credit unions have employees who don’t understand all the institution’s digital capabilities. It’s not enough just knowing that the institution has these digital capabilities. It’s about being confident discussing them and understanding the importance and value of digital to the consumer. As banks and credit unions overhaul their organizational structure to achieve the ideal agile digital organization, they must also commit to introducing new skills and capabilities to their employees.

As we move forward, we’re seeing a few key employee themes emerging. How do you bring advice into digital banking? How do you provide better advice in digital for customers who want to self-serve? How do you connect your advisors to people via digital banking? All of these themes have a common thread, reflecting the human interaction with the crossover to digital banking.

  • Turn frontline staff into Digital Advocates by making sure all employees can easily learn and understand all the digital products and services.
  • Increase employee digital confidence when talking digital banking with customers in the moment of need with assisted-serve Digital Demos.
  • Improve customer experience and decrease call times. When customers call for support, have employees walk them through a Digital Demo.
  • Reduce call center wait times by integrating Digital Demos on support pages, search result pages, help pages and FAQs to help customers self discover answers to digital questions

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