Reinventing successful banking

March 7, 2013

Customers of the future will gravitate towards highly personalised, device-independent banking solutions, as well as a consistent user experience through touchpoints, says Kestutis Gardziulis

Nowadays loyalty is a hard thing to earn. Ignore or forget your customers’ needs and goals, and they will exercise their right to choose and will search for someone who is able to offer more. So what makes them tick? Today’s bank clients care more about convenience. They also place a high value on personalised products and services. In addition, people are now using a wide array of internet-connected devices and social media. Successful banks need to acknowledge and thrive in these conditions. And that’s why the majority of financial institutions have to reinvent themselves.

First, begin your journey by keeping an eye on emerging technologies. Gesture-based interfaces, NFC-enabled smartphones, location-based mobile marketing, wearable sensors and tablets: all of them are destined to redefine our world in 2013. We’re rewiring our brains to consume, create and curate content seamlessly on multiple devices at the same time. And lurking somewhere between those trends are new innovations, which will eventually go on to disrupt an existing market and value network.

Secondly, recognise the importance and value of data. Social networking is probably the biggest driver of change in consumer banking behaviour. Everything that your customer shares, says and connects to, every gadget they use generates information that can be used to improve the consumer experience, and evolve your products and services. Customers will adore personalised and adaptive banking. In fact, the Global Consumer Banking Survey 2012 by Ernst & Young shows that 70 per cent of customers are willing to provide their banks with more personal information. Use it!

Thirdly, try meeting the demands of young people who have already integrated the internet and social media into their day-to-day life. Soon they will become adults and consumers of banking services. What will be the best online/mobile/branch experience to fit their lifestyle? Design a financial service with customer touchpoints across different channels and devices in mind. Experiment. Don’t be afraid. It is the perfect time to leave the old ways behind. Think out of the box and give old concepts new interfaces. Reinvent them. A new front-end interface doesn’t make a difference if the service is still a 20th century construct. What’s the best way to send money, or to make a payment? Maybe your child knows? Perhaps there is a better way to get loans, or to check your savings. If you don’t experiment, it won’t be you that pioneered it and made it possible.

Finally, choose the right development company. Take time to understand how they work. Start ups all have the courage (and freedom) to use new ways to develop great services, and this helps them compete with the larger corporations. Don’t be afraid, therefore, to use start up-like methods in your business to reinvent banking. They can help you to deliver great products more quickly. And of course it’s not just the initial choice – without knowledge and proper analysis, any investment in redeveloping a system in a short space of time is premature and destined to fail.

It’s time to rethink, disrupt and reinvent banking. The technologies, tools and practices are here, and customers are demanding these changes.

Kestutis Gardziulis is CEO of ETRONIKA