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Mobile Banking Foreshadowing The Future Of Customer Service

What You Should Know For The Success Of Your Business Continuity

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Matt Wujciak


Consumer use of mobile finance, banking and insurance apps jumped 71% in 2019, months before a pandemic took place.  

Now, mobile banking across the globe is currently undergoing surgical reconstruction, centered around APIs and personalized customer experience to accommodate fluctuating consumer demand...thanks to COVID-19 ramifications of course. 

Japan and South Korea saw jumps in usage of 85% from December of last year to March of this year. In the U.S., it’s been 35%, according to a report from Liftoff and App Annie. These changes in mobile banking and frictionless self-service will be permanent, many predict. 

The recent stimulus payments in the U.S. have doubled new mobile banking registrations, according to FIS, a financial software and services provider. And surprise, consumers want to access it, and spend it. As consumers are quick to deposit and transfer stimulus checks, those who have not been familiar with mobile banking have quickly adapted to the digital side of personal finance. 

While fintech accounts for only 5% of all app installs, it’s the second-largest category in terms of number of different apps. In other words, there’s fierce competition for financial services attracting customers since there’s a wide array of easily accessible mobile banking services available to them. (Bear in mind that all categories are “small” compared to gaming, which generally accounts for about half of all app installs on both iOS and Android.)

The report details four key factors that influence mobile fintech’s continued growth because of broader economic and social challenges caused by Coronavirus. And they make sense from a consumer standpoint. 

  1. Volatile markets: investors check their stocks more frequently
  2. Increased digital payments: buying happens digitally online or via contactless payments in person as cash is deprecated
  3. More quick and short-term loans: governments and banks are providing more loans for small business, as are lending apps
  4. Bricks-and-mortar bank branches closed: you can’t physically go to the bank anymore, so you have to use the app or phone

With unemployment rates skyrocketing and employee salaries being reduced, many are being decidedly more cautious about personal finances. But even those who are not facing these issues still have reason to meticulously track their finances - while remaining at home, of course.

“Based on the data we’re seeing in our banking platforms at FIS, the payout of trillions of stimulus funds to U.S. taxpayers is driving interesting behavioral changes among consumers,” says Maria Schuld, an executive with FIS North America. “It’s clear from the data that the current crisis is accelerating the shift toward use of mobile banking and mobile apps. We see this trend as structural and permanent.”

Banking in 2030 will look nothing like it did yesterday, or today for that matter. According to Deloitte’s Bank of 2030: Transform boldy research, financial services companies face myriad of challenges including evolving customer expectations and new digital technologies, as you would guess. But consumers are simultaneously demanding personalized customer experiences and privacy. 

The latter was once much easier for customers interacting face-to-face with financial service employees in a local bank. It was once much more comforting to develop relationships with the employees at your local bank, giving you and your family a financial peace of mind. The question now is, how can the banking industry accomplish this peace of mind for customers when their customer interactions are primarily executed through an application interface, automated voice recognition system, or chatbot. 

Against this changing environment, incumbents and fintechs must develop strategic, customer-centric BCPs (business continuity plans) to prepare for the next decade. 

The challenge for all businesses is to be flexible enough to adapt to evolving business models and consumer demands while remaining customer-centric, securing consumer privacy and protection, all while marketing their digital capabilities over the vast market of competitors. (Keep in mind, fintech and mobile banking accounts for the second largest category of different applications and services). 

Deloitte, KPMG and many more leading financial consulting firms preach the importance of customer experience. Key areas to address include cyber security, data protection, personalization, frictionless ease-of-use, and many more – all similarities that every customer-centric organization would agree are imperative. 

Read More: Special Report Series: Field Service Management (Sponsored by Salesforce)

As automation, artificial intelligence, and application performance integration continue to advance at an exponentially expedited rate as a result of Coronavirus and the digital and behavioral ramifications the pandemic has caused, customer experience and digital marketing remain more important, more competitive, and more versatile than ever before. 

Regardless of the industry you’re in, every organization is centered around customer satisfaction. For this reason we recommend a few simple mindsets to prioritize in order to enhance your BCP, and ultimately, customer experience. 

Read More: A Pyschological Approach To Management And Leadership After A Socioeconomic Crisis 

  1. Improve experience through frictionless efficiency and personalized self-service design. Financial services and other high-risk industries will have to improve their digital efficiency model as a result of damage to the economy from COVID-19. Much of this will be achieved by enhancing digital self-service (leveraging APIs where possible to reduce effort and increase personalization) for customers, while keeping their behavior and needs at the heart of your BCP.. As Alison Lichtenstein, Head of CX Design at Dow Jones recently told me, “I think personalization is probably the greatest thing that we can have happen to experience design. Based on the data that we have on what people want, we can then create tailored experiences all the way throughout a customer’s life-time.” Data aggregation is the key to any personalized self-service or experience design.  
  2. Reframing the employee experience - Employee experience shapes customer experience. Achieving skills needed to support digital transformation is required – even with thin IT, HR, or other skeleton support teams that are working remotely. For example, more than half of workers (65.8%) feel that company communications help them take action for their well-being, having a direct correlation on productivity levels, CSAT scores, and revenue. Don’t ignore communication, traditional training, skill gaps, and employee engagement practices, but rather, modify them to accommodate the oxymoronic saying, “the only constant is change.” Embrace it through preparation. 
  3. Recognize that ‘doing the right thing’ can be a marketable competitive advantage. This will become increasingly important in the current environment of pandemonium, job insecurity, increased consumer demand for data privacy, and financial distress, particularly as doing the right thing will ultimately lead to long-term customer trust and retention scores. The most effective marketing campaigns are one’s that are born from genuity.

Even in uncharted waters during times of distress and uncertainty, it’s important to stay connected. The CCW Digital community will be here for you, providing you with customer experience, contact center, and digital marketing resources every step of the way. In remote working environments and challenging economic circumstances, remember to lean on your digital community to come out stronger on the other side. 

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