A new proliferation of tech-savvy companies tuned into the digital economy has raised the bar for customers and brands alike. With Deliveroo, for example, customers can order their favorite foods in a matter of minutes–with personalized offers tailored just for them. Shouldn’t this be the case for bank services, too?
Research shows that mobile and online banking are now gathering significant pace, with more than a third (38%) of consumers carrying out their banking via a mobile app on a regular basis. That percentage rises to 53% for the 18- to 34-year-old bracket.
Mobile banking 1.0 brought simple banking transactions to our fingertips. But now customers expect a much more joined-up, customer-centric approach. Welcome to mobile banking 2.0–more of a personal finance management tool that allows users to gain a single view across all of their finances, from their bank accounts to their student loans, credit card balances, and mortgage applications.
With changes such as the move to open banking and the upcoming Payment Services Directive (PSD2), which comes into play in January, how can banks bolster mobile progress? And what should their CMOs be doing to provide customers with a slicker service?
Customers Over Transactions
All too often, banks are driven by a product-led culture rather than a customer-led culture, losing track of what is most important to customers by organizing the business to focus on functions and product lines. This results in a siloed approach to business growth, which often neglects customer satisfaction.
The truth is, if customers see their relationships with banks as purely transactional in nature, the amount of trust that can be built is limited. Important relationships risk being resigned to the short term.
The bank CMO must champion customers and bring their needs to the board to ensure business strategy is built to fulfill their expectations. As the role of the CMO gradually morphs into the “chief customer officer,” there is scope to foster a more customer-led culture, with an ethos around creating customers for life.
Let’s picture a future scenario: A potential customer is browsing online with a view to setting up an account. He is pointed towards a mobile banking application that has an integrated AI chatbot, which guides him through setup by asking a few questions and requesting verification, such as a passport or identity card. Within minutes, the account is ready to use, tailored to his preferences, with the bank also fulfilling vital KYC (know your customer) and AML (anti money-laundering) requirements.
From the customer’s perspective, he is happy the bank is so attuned to his needs and has provided an efficient process. From the bank’s perspective, it has optimized a sign-up process that previously would have taken multiple days–giving back vital time to staff to deal with more strategic activities.
AI and machine-learning technologies are enhancing customer onboarding processes such as these and are further helping with different aspects of customer interaction to improve the overall customer experience.
Imagine a bank that receives hundreds of FAQs and enquiries through its call centers every day. If an AI-enabled chatbot can automate the responses, customers benefit from answers in a matter of minutes–and, again, bank employees are freed to deal with more pressing issues. However, the human touch shouldn’t be lost altogether. By giving customers the opportunity to connect with an agent via video link, they can be assured the option to speak to a human if required or preferred is just a click away.
Next to its customers, data is one of the most valuable assets that a bank possesses. AI is now helping to bring newfound data insights and analytics capabilities. Bank CMOs can harness the power of this data and use it to serve up recommendations and personalized services to customers.
Mobile applications alone are giving banks a window into their customers’ accounts and needs. If you use a mobile banking application, a bank can garner data such as your location, transaction history, salary, mortgage rates, holiday budgets, spending habits, etc. The list goes on.
The move to PSD2 also compounds this data proliferation, as consumers begin to grant trusted third parties access to their banking data through open APIs. By connecting the dots between transactional data, personal data, and social media data, powerful AI algorithms can identify when customers are in most need of a service and provide unique products personalized to their needs.
The Evolving Role Of The Bank CMO
The mindset of the modern-day bank needs to change to build true, long-term customer-centricity. The CMO must navigate this journey, taking a leading role in highlighting the benefits of cognitive technologies, such as AI, to the board, and using advanced data analytics to deliver the personalized services customers actually want and need.
In five years, will the role of the CMO exist? Certainly not in the same guise as it does today. I see the role of the CMO changing into that of a chief data officer or chief customer officer–someone who dives into advanced data analytics and champions the needs of the customer.
Ultimately, customers will be the ones who shape the way our banks look in the future. Banks that fail to deliver on the customer-centricity mandate in a competitive world driven by open banking won’t survive for very long.