How to Build Humanized Digital Banking through Personalization

More than two billion people could be banking digitally by the end of 2024. Whether or not they seek out your financial institution depends on what you do to create valuable, relevant relationships and understand customers in the digital-first future.

Digital banking is missing something. It’s not adherence or adoption: 89% of U.S. consumers use mobile banking channels, according to PYMNTS, and by some estimates, more than two billion people around the world could be banking digitally by the end of 2024.

What’s missing from digital banking is humanization: the ability of financial brands to provide the responsiveness, intelligence and comfort associated with human interaction on the digital customer’s terms. It’s about creating personalized experiences that deliver the quality of service consumers expect while satisfying all-new demands — all through digital channels.

What a Humanized Digital Banking Experience Looks Like

There’s an obvious reason Insider Intelligence found that 70% of U.S. consumers say they primarily access their bank accounts by mobile: convenience. Get-it-this-week delivery alongside a growing move toward remote and hybrid work models has developed an expectation to be serviced without effort. Consumers expect to be serviced on their terms.

Herein lies the secret to humanizing digital banking: intelligently understanding how to deliver a personalized and frictionless experience for frequent, simple tasks, while identifying exactly where and when direct contact with a live agent is desired or expected. The entirety of the banking experience should communicate “We know you, and we’re here to service you well.”

If you want your institution to create a digital banking experience that drives conversion, creates loyalty and improves brand reputation, it needs to become an example of the following four factors:

In response to a 2021 Capco study, over 70% of consumers from all age demographics said personalization was “highly important” to their banking experience. Further, more than half of respondents to a 2019 Provident Bank digital banking survey said they would be more likely to use mobile banking services if their banking provider rewarded them for doing so. That includes showing them offers and advice informed by what you know about them, from their current concerns to their financial goals. It’s a tightrope, because even a single irrelevant message can torpedo consumers’ faith in how well you know them, leading to decreased conversions and tanking loyalty.

Convenience only puts features in front of consumers. Eliminating friction from the digital banking experience makes sure you can meet their expectations of speed and efficiency while reducing frustration, which contributed to 70% of abandoned digital banking customer journeys, according to a 2020 survey by Fractal. Whether your customers use digital banking to research loan options, open new accounts, send money or just check statements and balances, their patience is low for hitches in the process.

Digitization and the rise of neobanks are contributing to rising expectations of features that go beyond day-to-day check deposits and balance alerts. When the goal is to create a banking experience with all the features of an in-person visit but with digital convenience, everything that can be done in a bank should have at least representation on an app or website. From every device, people expect to be able to resolve disputes, send money and budget with ease — and on their terms.

95% of respondents to the Provident Bank survey said they trusted their bank’s ability to protect their information via digital channels. Consumers might even be willing to deal with a certain level of friction associated with authentication if it makes them feel like their information is more secure.

How Personalization Enables Humanization

Having the right name in the subject line isn’t enough anymore. Providing relevant information doesn’t mean bombarding consumers and prospects with offers just because they fit a certain affinity profile, either — meaningful personalization always drives direct value to the customer. It means knowing their life stage, priorities and the impact your offers can have on their financial concerns — the kinds of things you might find out in an in-person banking scenario, but on their terms and at their convenience.

Key to Success:

Using personalization data is central to building humanized digital banking CX that extends across an entire experience from app to chat to phone.

New consumers want brands to meet them where they are, know their tastes, give them targeted offers and check in to make sure they’ve been fully taken care of, according to McKinsey research. In addition, the research found personalization makes customers more likely to purchase (76%), but it also has effects across the customer life cycle: Personalization makes consumers more likely to buy again (78%) or even more likely to refer friends and family (78%) — all key metrics to increase customer lifetime value.

Glossbox leaderboard

Uncover Meaningful Insights from your Digital Platforms

Metrics can help you sketch out a rough map of the most and least common digital journeys for your customers and how they interact along the way. The pages they view, the services they enroll in, the content they look at and what actions they take afterward are all great for establishing touchpoints. Then, asses every journey. Is it frictionless, intuitive and secure? How could you anticipate and meet the needs of each journey better?

For example: If you see a customer checks their account multiple times the same day as they deposit paper checks, you could invite them to turn on deposit confirmation notifications or even review their direct deposit options. Or if a banking customer visits the “Contact Us” page multiple times but your customer relations department doesn’t receive their request, you can investigate the source of friction, follow up with the customer and deploy a solution (were they looking for a different way to connect? Is there something wrong with the form? Is the messaging not clear? Are there not enough dropdown options to accurately categorize their question?). Friction in one customer experience can help you quickly diagnose and remedy the problem before it becomes a larger oversight.

Looking closer at the digital customer journey — down to individual sessions on your website or app — reveals the information you need to customize offers and offer personalized support at pivotal moments. When you can tell what a user saw, time their interactions, and register what friction they encountered, you can identify patterns and implement large-scale improvements with confidence.

Building a Better Relationship With Scalable AI

True humanized digital banking is at the intersection of this real-world behavioral data and digital experience analytics. When embedded into the digital journey, these insights help you provide the right services to the right consumers, at the right time, through the right channels, which drives greater conversion rates, higher customer satisfaction and better brand reputation — but you need a platform to collect, prioritize, organize and execute on them.

AI-powered analytics can scale these insights across every digital channel, including desktop, mobile and app platforms. AI helps lower costs, reduce error rates and improve resource utilization through automation, and it also empowers human decision-makers to craft a digital journey that distinguishes your brand.

Glassbox helps financial brands leverage their website and app analytics data to uncover deeper, more meaningful insights about their customer or member experience. We provide visibility into real-time digital behavior analytics – down to the session level — and integrate these real-time insights into current martech platforms for better marketing and better relationships.

Additional Resources:

This article was originally published on . All content © 2024 by The Financial Brand and may not be reproduced by any means without permission.