Microsoft has revealed when it will end support for Windows 10, with the date rounding off to ten years since the OS first launched….
Doing digital banking better is key, according to various banking trend predictions for 2015. But being fine-tuned to customer needs and behaviour, and consequently marrying human centricity with technology, could be the catalyst for true differentiation.
Banking products and services have always been perceived as quite generic and it was inevitable that banks would catch up with each other in the digital banking space. Although launching innovative digital banking products and services that change the way we bank will continue to be rolled out, customer centricity should be at the heart of each rationale, and the execution thereof has never been more important.
In addition to this, the unique South African consumer landscape calls for a fine balance between keeping up with providing the early adopters of technology with relevant financial solutions and experiences and not losing sight of the needs of those who are still hesitant to use the earliest of digital banking platforms such as cellphone banking.
We are far from being able to put digital migration at the bottom of the priority list. Tangible bank experiences such as visiting a branch needs to make room for learning experiences that comfortably ease the tech averse into the use of digital banking.
The following three global trends are among those that will affect the creation of value in customers’ banking experience:
Customers are destined to become less and less tolerant of long queues – month end or not – largely due to being time starved but also because consumers have simply come to expect more from services.
Digital banking might solve the problem of having to go into a branch for many, but traditional branches, although often revamped with a futuristic look and feel, are far from becoming redundant.
Fast-laning would imply that the in-branch experience is streamlined and hassle free with clear direction as to which queue serves which need. The layout of the branch and interactivity between customer and branch assistant should work together to result in the least possible time spent in the branch. Self-assistance as options are also likely to become more prevalent both inside the branch and the exterior with facilities such as Automatic Deposit Teller machines (ADTs).
In 2015, there will be no more room to typecast consumers based on behaviour and LSMs.
People of all ages and in any market are constructing their own identities more freely than ever. As a result, consumption patterns are no longer defined by ‘traditional’ demographic segments such as age, gender, location, income, family status and possessions owned.
In-depth consumer insights are becoming more and more invaluable and have to be the foundation of product and service design in order to serve the needs of an increasingly diverse consumer – across branches and digital banking. It has even been suggested that products be stripped down to their basic features, empowering customers to build their banking products according to their own needs which supports the on-going consumer trend of tailor made products.
The Millennial effect
The Millennial generation is a riddle that is far from solved for most retailers and service providers, but what is undeniable is the fact they operate differently to their predecessors.
Characteristics such as trusting on-going online dialogue in their decision making, seeking experiences from brands and not taking anything at face value provides both an opportunity and threat to banking. As a part of the Millennial group go on to decide on their main financial service providers**, banks that capture their attention and provide a consistent experience across platforms can drive positive word-of-mouth and loyalty. Failing to do so will naturally lead to the exact opposite: losing customers and most likely a negative wave of online publicity.
2015 is set to be a year of rapid technological advances, and trends such as these emphasise the importance of keeping the consumer at the heart of what banks do.