Financial businesses need to connect. Whether it’s a bank, a wealth management firm or an insurance company, a finance brand is a part of some of the biggest, most important decisions its customers make. So at the end of the day, a financial company succeeds when it connects — when it builds a strong relationship founded on trust and respect.
In the past, this relationship was a personal one. When a customer bought a house or managed their estate, they came into a branch or an office, they looked their agent in the eyes and they shook hands.
Today, customers still want to trust their financial institutions, but they don’t want to come into a physical location unless absolutely necessary. Today, customers want to interact with brands on their own terms, across channels and increasingly on mobile phones. According to the 2017 Adobe Digital Index, mobile visits to top retail banking sites have increased 121 per cent since 2014 and now represent 26 per cent of all traffic.
Digital is better for financial brands, too. It allows for consistent experiences at scale, something a branch can never deliver. And digital experiences are automatable, which makes them cheaper, repeatable and more efficient. So at the end of the day, digital gives the best of both worlds. More efficiency — which Is what financial institutions want — and more convenience — which is what customers want.
But going digital creates some real challenges for finance companies.
For one thing, the dominance of digital has opened the door for new competition. A new breed of financial startups have entered the arena — “fintechs” that are designed from the ground up to deliver digitised financial experiences. And perhaps more concerning, tech giants such as Google and Apple, who have deep proficiency in nurturing digital experiences, have started to flex their muscles in the financial space as well. “To open a new account,” says Chris Young, the director of industry strategy over financial services at Adobe, “most customers still go into a bank. After that they never return.”
This is reflected in revenue. According to one Econsultancy report, many financial brands only attribute an average of 31 per cent of sales to digital channels. And while the motives for this digital reticence are varied, — maybe customers are sticking with what’s familiar, maybe they still don’t trust certain online transactions — it’s clear that for many financial institutions, digital is letting customers down.
So the pressure is on. To compete, to grow and to win customer trust, financial companies need to crack the digital nut. They need to design and deliver connected digital experiences that are personal, compelling and worthy of a customer’s trust.
And the place to start is with data. Delivering a connected experience starts with connected data. By integrating data from all your channels, online and off-line, you can develop robust customer profiles that help you delight existing customers and successfully woo new ones.
Financial brands on what has the greatest impact on digital maturity.