Customers expect digital innovation—but banks could go further. In this series, I will outline how shifting consumer trends create new opportunity for banks. I will also discuss emerging consumer personas, and delineate the banking response.

As consumer behaviors and expectations are shifting, banks are forced to both redefine their priorities and transform their distribution models. To help map and describe these changes, Accenture’s 2017 Financial Services Global Distribution & Marketing Consumer Study gathered the views of more than 32,000 banking customers across 18 markets. The research focused on how customers want to interact with their banks, and where innovation can play its part.

The results were striking. They clearly showed that, to re-establish trust with customers and secure their loyalty, banks will need more than just a digital-first approach. As digital offerings mature, banks must define their value proposition to encompass both digital innovation and traditional values to meet their customers’ needs.

Our research looked across Financial Services to understand financial customers’ wants and needs. We identified six emerging customer trends with profound implications for the banking sector

Data as a currency

While consumers are willing to share more of their personal data with their banks, they understand the value of their data and expect to receive benefits for sharing it. These benefits may take the form of offers, reduced interest rates, recognition and other rewards.

 

Younger consumers drawn to the GAFA model

Platforms like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon (collectively known as GAFA) provide attractive alternatives to traditional banks, particularly among younger consumers. Younger generations also increasingly want to engage via online platforms to help shape future banking products and services.

 

Automated support is welcome

Banking customers reported being open to receiving entirely computer-generated support, provided it can deliver the tailored and personalized services they need. Greater control over the banking experience with improved speed and convenience was the main reason consumers would turn to automated support.

Personalization that stretches beyond banking

Our research indicates that in return for sharing their data, consumers will demand more personalized banking advice. Customers also demand relevant advice and product information at their fingertips as they go about their daily lives, and support in the purchasing process of non-banking products.

A new route to trust

The biggest driver for today’s banking customers is the ability to trust their bank in protecting their personal data. Customers also said that responsive customer service and brand integrity are key to ensuring their loyalty.

 

Branches that add more value

As consumers are not ready to forgo the branch, easy access to a branch was reported as the third biggest driver of loyalty. Customers are looking for a branch experience that blends the physical and digital in a seamless manner. Importantly, our research revealed that customers feel the omni-channel experience is still an aspiration, and that coordination across channels is deteriorating rather than improving.

Furthermore, three distinct consumer personas emerged within our research findings:

  • Nomads, a highly digitally active group, that is ready for a new model of delivery.
  • Hunters, a group of consumers searching for the best deal on price.
  • Quality Seekers, a group looking for high quality, responsive service and data protection.

In my next post, I will take a closer look at the attributes of these consumer personas.

In the meantime, I invite you to access the complete Banking Report.

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