Customer Expectations for Digital Banking Experience in 2021

Jun 30, 2021 | UX Guide, User Research

Digital banking falls under the huge umbrella of the fintech ecosystem. In this article, we talked about how fintech has transformed the UX of the financial services industry in 2021. But what does this mean for digital banking?

The main services that banks provide fall under 4 different categories:

  1. Individual Banking: checking accounts, saving accounts, debit & credit cards, remittance, and wealth management
  2. Business Banking: business loans, checking accounts, savings accounts, debit & credit card, merchant services, and treasury services
  3. Loans: personal loans, home loans, business loans, car loans or vehicle loans
  4. Digital Banking: online banking, online bill payments, eStatements, text alerts, mobile check deposit, loans, and remittance

Digital Banking

In a report by KPMG for their bi-annual analysis in the fintech sector, their research suggests that digital banking will continue to be a high area of investment in Asia, especially since additional jurisdictions have expressed intent in following the footsteps of Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore in the issuing of digital banking licenses.

Digital banking gives us the ability to manage our finances online whether it’s from our phone, tablet or computer. Personally, the last time I went into a bank was because I needed to get specific denominations that I couldn’t do online. Given the choice, most people would rather go online than wait in line.

McKinsey has reported that Asia has been the largest regional banking market for more than 10 years! Digital banking isn’t just about making banking services available online, it’s about reinvention for the future. Banks now need to compete with fintech startups disrupting the ecosystem, and it’s more important than ever to meet customer expectations by providing an excellent digital banking user experience.

Fintech SEA Map - Digital Banking

Online Banking

Also known as internet banking or web banking, allows users to conduct financial transactions on the internet instead of visiting a bank branch. The main advantage of online banking is convenience, and in this day and age when almost everything can be done in a matter of clicks, customer expectations are higher than ever.

Customer Expectations for Online Banking

1. On-Demand Around The Clock

Customers expect to be able to conduct financial transactions online easily anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 times a week, whenever they want. Online banking is expected to be fast and efficient, funds to be transferred between accounts instantaneously, especially if the two accounts are held at the same bank.

The ability for consumers to monitor their accounts regularly doesn’t just keep them up-to-date on their accounts, it also serves as an early detection of fraudulent activity, acting as a precaution against financial damage.

 2. Service Expectations & Proactive Engagement

Accenture reports that 78% of highly digitally active people would consider banking with a tech firm like Amazon or Google, creating tough competition for traditional banks.  For Asia, people might be thinking of banking with Grab, Shopee, Lazada in the future. Customers expect banks to match service levels, banks that are unable to successfully implement digitally-based services risk losing customers to their competitors.

However, banks have the added advantage to offer add-on services such as helping customers with home or car loans that tech firms aren’t able to offer. Banks are also well-positioned to offer add-on services that can be tailored to their individual customers, offering personalized advice stemming from existing customer information.

Aside from meeting customers’ service expectations, it’s also important to provide proactive engagement. What does this look like?

Proactive engagement helps to improve financial management by educating customers, notifying them, and conducting surveys. By providing education to customers, it empowers them to make better financial decisions that benefit both the customer and the bank.

Notifying customers is to keep them up to date with regards to their application status, billing, or other relevant announcements.

Surveys can also be conducted to collect customer feedback in order to identify gaps and pain points from customers in order for banks to improve. Other forms of user research such as user interviews are especially helpful to better understand your customers.

3. Automated Support

In addition to speed and convenience, customers expect banks to provide effective and automated support in delivering practical benefits. Human advisors are hard to replace, but computerized advice on banking products is a beneficial supplement and it allows basic queries to be addressed automatically, allowing human advisors more capacity to deal with more complex queries.

4. Live Assistance

Automated support is handy for quick and automated responses to basic queries, but when customers have more complex queries, nothing beats live assistance. It isn’t practical to offer live assistance for every aspect and step of the customer journey, which is why it’s beneficial to fully understand your customers’ experience throughout the customer journey. 

By mapping out the customer journey, it can help a bank to uncover common customer complaints, identify all the touchpoints that customers have with the bank, and to also uncover valuable insights as to what improvements can be done. 

Based on this information, the bank can implement and provide live assistance at necessary touchpoints. Advanced tools such as video chat or co-browsing may also help to provide exceptional customer service. 

As a result, customer expectations aren’t just met but are exceeded. Furthermore, customer resolution time is improved because the customers’ needs are met in real-time through live assistance instead of having delays for complex banking transactions.

5. Prioritize and Implement Omnichannel User Experience

Omnichannel user experience is growing in popularity to meet customers’ demands. Customers want to connect with brands across different channels, and they want to be able to perform banking operations whether it’s on a website, mobile app as they would be able to do over the phone or at the bank’s branch.

Face to face transactions at bank branches and call centers are important to maintain, but if the customer wants to do a simple transaction of transferring funds, nothing beats the convenience of being to do so on their mobile phone.

An omnichannel user experience needs to be prioritized and implemented so that superior customer service can be delivered to customers across all available channels, online and offline.

Doing so also provides a flexibility to customers where they can choose to start the onboarding process on one channel and complete the process on another channel without having to start all over again.

To find out more about omnichannel user experience, check out these relevant articles we have written:

6. Utilize Big Data & Analytics

The foundation of sustainable competitive advantage in digital banking is to understand your customers.

Big data analytics is vital for an in-depth understanding of your customers, to enhance the financial services experience, and to provide crucial information to support business decisions.

With big data and analytics, the insights gained can aid in customer segmentation, identify and evaluate opportunities, and to predict models that can help to strengthen customer engagement and increase customer experience.

7. Trust

Data security is vital and non-negotiable in the eyes of the customers. By choosing a bank to put their money in, customers aren’t just choosing to trust that bank with their money but also with their data.

The main driver of loyalty for customers is the ability they have in trusting their bank in protecting their personal data, banks should also use data to offer personalized services and tailored advice to their customers. If a customer has shown interest in buying a property, banks should offer home loan advice based on information they already have, such as the customer’s monthly income, expenses and spending habit.

In doing so, customers will feel a sense of trust in their bank knowing that their data is in good hands. Furthermore, the ability to offer personalized services and advice goes to show that the bank has their customers’ interests at heart.

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