There’s a lot going on in banking. Regulations, tech, challengers, and non-banks like big techs, such as Google, Facebook, and Apple, offering banking services and products. However, what stands at the centre of all of this is the customer. Today, along with Fincog and Innopay, we held a roundtable on the future of banking and customer experience to dive into issues surrounding the topic and why customer centricity is key to the banks of today and the future. Below, you’ll find a discussion of what went down.
Currently, there’s a renewed push in customer centricity in banking. The customer being the starting point, though, raises a number of issues. For example, customers may not know what they want or need, and the distinction between customer desires and user experience. User experience centres on how customers feel and carry out the journey towards finding and implementing what they need or want while uncovering these desires/needs requires a different approach. Additionally, in today’s financial services value chain where there are many players, do banks necessarily need to be in direct contact with the customer to be customer centric?
This plug-and-play landscape that is currently shaping banking’s future means that banks no longer have to build everything, or even most things, themselves. This, as one participant brought up, opens up banks’ ability to concentrate on the front end—UX, customer experience—because they can have other parties take care of what’s going on in the background. Additionally, third parties can also provide many services offered by banks—does this in some way undermine the position of banks?
To get the pulse on what customers want, Innopay and Fincog took a poll amongst participants. The top concerns that came into view were simplicity of use, data transparency and security, and trust. This latter issue involved an expanded discussion that was more complex than it looked on the surface; although people don’t trust their banks, particularly after the financial crisis, they’re not doing anything about it despite their concerns of emerging issues like data safety. Offering customers increased data privacy could be a big opportunity for banks, one attendee brought up. However, when we think about options other than incumbents when it comes to banking there are challengers, which the majority are not leaving their banks for, and maybe, in the future, big techs.
In terms of big techs vs. banks, some said big techs will become banks, while others dissenting based upon the matter of regulation.
Regarding how to determine what customers want, one participant brought up the idea that banks employ product-driven thinking while their customers think in terms of problems and solutions, and what they need, a piece of which may be a product. These different mindsets colour the way institutions determine what people want.
Additionally, in determining what customers want, many consultants and banks use segmentation and profiles yet this, as was raised during the discussion, may not be the best way forward because people both have different needs in distinct phases of their lives and even within groups there are differences. The future of banking could see banks offer different brands throughout a person’s lifetime, or depending on which life phase they are in.
If you’re interested in participating in the future of banking track, keep an eye on our events page.