Digital Banking is Evolving for a Changing World
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the use of digital technology in all aspects of life, and financial services is no exception. Suddenly, financial institutions and their customers both have a new incentive to embrace digital banking services.
In this environment, it’s more important than ever for institutions to ensure they are providing a stellar experience to customers through digital channels. But how?
Recently, Early Warning’s Jamie Armistead, Vice President, Business Line Leader for Zelle®, spoke with the Payments Journal podcast about best practices for financial institutions to increase digital engagement. He explained that while most financial institutions already have solid digital offerings, they now have an opportunity to evolve those offerings and demonstrate their value to a broader set of consumers.
Here are a few takeaways from the discussion:
First Impressions are Everything.
In a recent survey of bank customers cited by Payments Journal, 82% of respondents said they were hesitant to visit bank branches during the pandemic. This is motivating many people who were on the fence about mobile and online banking to try these services for the first time.
It’s important for their first interaction to be positive, Armistead explained. This means that financial institutions should take stock of what services their customers find valuable, and assess where they are in providing those services through digital channels. This includes basic account functionality as well as other features, such as providing an integrated, seamless account opening experience digitally.
Zelle® Enhances Value for Customers.
With social distancing likely becoming the norm for some time to come, a financial institution’s digital payment capabilities will be top of mind for consumers. Armistead noted that recently, there has been an increase in consumers leveraging Zelle® for everyday essentials such as paying back neighbors for groceries, reimbursing family and friends for cancelled events and sending money to loved ones in need.
Financial institutions can increase their value to their customers by offering Zelle®, which gives users an fast, safe and easy way to send digital payments to friends and family, right from their mobile banking app. Currently, 837 financial institutions are contracted to participate in the Zelle Network® with more than half live today and processing transactions.
Digital is Here to Stay.
Once customers become accustomed to the capabilities of digital banking, they are unlikely to return to their old ways, Armistead said. He predicted that the new wave of customers will get used to the value and benefit of digital experiences, just like other customers have done historically.
This shift in behavior will have long-term implications for financial institutions. Customers engaging digitally offer financial institutions numerous benefits, including increased transaction activity and product holdings, higher revenue generation and lower customer attrition. He also noted that one potential shift will be in how the industry leverages the value of branch locations. With more day-to-day banking activities occurring through digital channels, branches will be utilized more for higher-value, consultative services.
For more from this discussion, click through to read the full article and listen to the podcast from Payments Journal.
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