Retail banks were slow to jump on the digital bandwagon, and they’re still struggling to find the right user experience (UX) for digital customers — especially in an industry where consumer trust is paramount.
In the past, moving from one bank to another was usually far too much effort for pretty much the same products and services.
But the digital age is changing that. For 48 per cent of account-switchers, mobile banking services were either important or extremely important in their decision to switch, according to research from Alix Partners.
Mobile banking has come of age, says Jason Malo, research director for CEB TowerGroup’s retail banking practice. And retail banks need to re-examine their online banking services.
“Particularly, retail banking firms realize that customers are now more comfortable with a broad range of digital services, and so should improve cross-channel processes between mobile and online banking platforms,” he says.
But in a recent survey, CEB TowerGroup found that retail banks struggle with selecting the right time to invest, defining the user experience and integrating with core systems.
Many retail banks recognize their digital platform is outdated (and, indeed, they’ve gone through many rounds of upgrades to keep up with customer demands), but end-of-life is a common replacement driver for online banking solutions, according to the survey results.
Malo says banks need to define the standard user experience and then be prepared to customize their platform.
Here are some additional resources to help you navigate through these challenges:
- Evan Wade, consulting blogger for Mutual Mobile, explains how the best mobile banking apps get the job done, and why mobile deposit capabilities need to work flawlessly
- Danielle Arad, chief editor at UX Motel, offers up three ways your user experience team can improve a banking website, via UsabilityGeek
- Jon Cook, a new media veteran, explains what banking on a mobile phone should look (and feel) like, via CommerceLab
- Richard Johnson, SVP of strategy with Monitise, explains why user experience is important to drive engagement, but also to encourage the adoption of new services (and for cross- and up-sales)
- And just to get an idea of what some innovative apps look like, American Banker has selected 10 progressive mobile banking apps, taking into account application features, design and ease of use
So what does the future hold? Wade points to some examples of where digital banking is heading: Spanish bank Banco Sabadell has released mobile banking software for Google Glass, and U.K.-based Intelligent Environments has created an app that allows users to balance their chequing account on a Pebble smartwatch.
Waiting for end-of-life to upgrade isn’t going to cut it anymore. Customers expect their bank to keep up with, well, every other industry out there — and exceed most other industries in terms of usability and security. Your digital platform will define your user experience — and will set you apart (for better or worse) from your competition.
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