In less than a year, the lives of people worldwide changed from digital second to digital-first. Physical restrictions led to a sharp surge in online activity and mass adoption of digital banking services. Safe, quick, and convenient access to finances online became a banking feature consumers would switch banks for.
Mastercard’s study revealed that 62% of respondents in Europe expressed interest in moving from physical banking to digital platforms in 2020. Over half of the world’s population are using banking apps more than before the pandemic and express more positive interest in digital banking overall.
As customers look for alternatives to traditional banking, first impressions stemming from customer experience play a big part in their decision-making. It won’t matter how good a bank’s in-branch customer service is or how attractive their fees are if a prospect can’t open an account because of a complicated and lengthy sign-up process. Currently, 9 out of 10 customers abandon applications for current accounts, credit cards, and loans.
Digital banking research. Source: Temenos
Next-gen customer acquisition in banking
By motivating customers to complete their applications with a better user experience, banks can increase revenue streams and improve the bottom line. According to a Capgemini report, customer acquisition in digital banking through meaningful user journeys was already a fast-growing priority before the pandemic because customers want to experience the same convenience in banking as they do in digital lifestyle applications.
Key challenges of the current client onboarding process. Source: Capgemini
Designing the process from a user’s perspective is vital for not overloading customers with unnecessary information. Mobile-first experiences geared towards touchscreen input with the minimum information on-screen minimize distractions and improve chances of a successful conversion. Saving time and hassle by pre-filling as much as possible from internal systems and never asking for the same information twice goes a long way in nurturing leads.
Banks need to use data and behavioural analytics to improve and iterate the customer acquisition process continuously. By identifying the friction points, where activities stall and errors occur, companies can make incremental changes to improve over time.
A streamlined onboarding process lays the foundation for trustful client-bank relationships. Matching the ongoing customer journey with next-generation features helps to cement customer loyalty. Next-gen banking functionality can prevent the three most frequent sources of leaks in the digital sales cycle: switching is too difficult, the digital process is too cumbersome, and the lack of advice when customers need it.
Top features for better customer experience in banking
1. Convenient account opening in minutes
Digital self-onboarding enables customers to open a bank account regardless of where they are and what device they use. Simplifying access to bank services and cutting time to open an account to mere minutes makes life easier for customers and removes switching barriers.
Next-generation onboarding consists of collecting and validating basic information about a client, verifying provided documents, and performing due diligence to ensure adherence to legal aspects and regulations. This process can be completed in around five steps under 5 minutes by using remote ID verification services and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to automate document verification and validation steps.
According to OneSpan, digital account opening is already a top priority for banks and financial institutions, with 68% of respondents actively implementing it in their onboarding. Besides significantly improving customer experience, self-onboarding streamlines data collection and processing allowing banks to direct resources elsewhere.
Account opening transformation. Source: OneSpan
2. Account-to-account payments
P2P or peer-to-peer payments is a simple yet effective solution that enables almost instant money transfers between any device. In just a few taps, customers can pay and send money to friends and family from their phone or computer. Mobile-first customers have little patience for multi-day bank transfers that don’t work on weekends when better and faster alternatives work 24/7/365. Banks that offer the convenience and simplicity of instant payments can keep their customers within their ecosystems instead of losing them to payment services like Venmo.
3. Intuitive loan applications
With an automated digital application process, customers can effortlessly open additional accounts, get credit cards, and apply for loans. The ability to instantly apply for any banking service in just a few clicks can improve conversion rates for existing and new financial products. Lending is a core banking service that can benefit greatly from a next-generation digital strategy.
By integrating the loan application process with a core banking system, customers don’t need to input their data that already exists in the system. Clients can save and reopen their applications later, while banks can monitor these leads and follow up with help and personalized offers.
4. Automated payments
Monthly and annual bills are recurring payments that take up time. Automating and providing management billing tools brings a new level of convenience to individuals and customers alike. By connecting billers directly to bank accounts or cards, banks can let customers centralize and control their spending using manual or scheduled bill payments. Quick access to all subscriptions with a real-time overview avoids unexpected charges and provides customers with peace of mind.
Like scheduled payments, bulk transfers enable account holders to send money to multiple beneficiaries from a single account. Business transactions, salaries, and any frequent payments can be streamlined to offer customers a fast, easy, and efficient way of handling bulk payments.
5. Personal digital card management
Banks can give customers greater control over their finances with digital card management. Setting up online spending limits and blocking payment cards in a few taps provides greater comfort and a better sense of security. With digital card management, clients can personalize their settings to reflect their purchasing patterns by turning on/off contactless NFC and online payments. In-dept transaction history categorized by country, type, and merchant location help prevent irregularities and spot fraudulent transactions early.
6. Trustworthy security
Digital banking services collect and store sensitive customer data that needs to be protected and kept secure with innovative technologies. To provide a next-generation customer experience, banks and financial institutions need to comply with strict regulatory data requirements and implement best industry practices. Biometric multi-factor authentications, location-based security, suspicious activity notifications, card tokenization, and predictive fraud detection systems are a must for a modern banking experience.
7. Up-to-date notifications
In-app alerts and notifications let customers control their financial activities and protect against fraudulent withdrawals and transactions. Real-time notifications about incoming and outgoing payments, low balance warnings, overdraft protection warnings, and payment providers enable clients to stay on top of their finances. Every app alert is also an opportunity for banks to offer better products and services to their customers.
8. Personal Finance Management (PFM)
Banks can play an active role in helping consumers improve their financial behaviour and make healthier money decisions. PFM tools and functionality enables customers to budget their finances with spending and saving goals. By monitoring weekly and monthly progress using clear visual charts, clients can choose to allocate a larger portion of their income to savings or retirement accounts. Banks that help consumers make better decisions can generate more trust and cultivate loyalty.
9. Valuable loyalty benefits
Customers feel valued when rewarded for their choices such as being a member of an exclusive banking community. Reward coupons, custom cards, special offers, cashback, and referral rewards are just some of the strategies digital banking platforms rely on to reward their customers for brand loyalty. Happy customers become the best brand ambassadors.
10. Straightforward digital insurance
Partnerships and integrations between insurance companies and banks called bancassurance help financial institutions expand service offerings within their ecosystems. Personalized digital insurance packages that come with an account improve customer satisfaction while generating new revenue streams for banks. Insurance-linked to a bank account streamlines the claim resolution process and significantly speeds up refund time.
SDK.finance: the proven digital banking partner of choice
SDK.finance, a white-label digital banking platform, has everything banks and financial institutions need to create a next-generation customer experience in the shortest time possible. The digital retail banking platform built by a team with 15+ years of experience in FinTech is available in all popular formats: web, iOS, and Android applications to reach the new generation of mobile-first customers.
The platform is available in three formats:
- On-premise with the source code gives you independence from the vendor
- A dedicated team eliminates the headache of software development people management
- Cloud-based core banking software offers you the flexibility of Pay-as-You-Go.
Check out this demo video to learn more about the SDK.finance platform:
Contact the SDK.finance team directly to learn more about what type of banking software will be perfect for your business needs.