Digital finance is rising, and it is giving customers more options to bank without the need for a branch. There has been a huge increase in the number of people using online banking, especially during 2020.
In 2020, a report revealed there was a 26% increase of customers using mobile banking and online payments, compared to 2019. With 75% of customers using their phone for shopping and 40% of online transactions being completed from a mobile device, it is clear that mobile activities are in customers' daily lives. These statistics demonstrate the popularity of digital products and users' confidence to make payments from their phone.
A growing number of customers are digitally savvy and their expectation of banking products needs to match leading products from other industries. This is why financial institutions should constantly be modernising their websites and apps, and follow the latest digital trends in technology, UX and design.
Let’s take a look at the trends that banks should be following to continue modernising their digital financial services, and how their customers can benefit from this.
Alerting customers with updates
Firstly, the ability to set up activity alerts that appear as toast messages on mobile devices is a feature that customers appreciate. Customers can receive notifications from their app about what is happening with their account and take action when necessary.
For example, it’s become common to notify customers about their spending activities as soon as money comes in or out of the account to ensure higher security. In addition, this helps to quickly spot any unexpected activity on the account if a customer notices any transactions that aren't carried out by them at the time. It’s easier to report the fraudulent activity as soon as it happens to be able to block the transaction.
Linking to this, financial institutions can put the extra touch on the customer experience by personalising their push notifications and messages. This sets a friendlier tone and helps build a better relationship with the customers. Banks also need to ensure they send out communication regarding new updates or features of their products. Overall, effective messaging will make the customer experience more enjoyable and build a stronger relationship with the account holder.
Personalised money management
The bank must always offer value to their customers. One of the features that is effective for retention is a budgeting tool and automated segmentation of spending to help manage finances.
More banks have started to offer an overview of customer accounts and their spending habits, accompanied by interactive graphs to help them understand it better. Customers increasingly want to know where they can make savings and how they spend day-to-day to make financial decisions. In addition, customers want to be able to find this data in a few steps.
Personalising the experience further, banks could automatically recommend savings or investment products to users with positive cash balances. On the other hand, banks could recommend actions to consider, such as spending limits on categories or setting money aside for upcoming bills.
To increase the overall customer experience, banks can get creative with the designs of personalised money management. They could bring in bold, eye-catching colours to make the data look more welcoming. This will make banking more enjoyable and will likely get more customers involved.
You cannot get any more personalised than banks allowing customers to partner up their finances with their other half or someone they are close to, like family and friends.
Some apps allow customers to manage and track their finances together, linking multiple accounts in one. The only difference is, there are two lots of data, such as recent transactions and categories for each individual.
Finch is a great example of this UX trend. This product allows customers to create a ‘social space’ and split bills between numerous people. Alongside this, the app allows customers to make suggestions to one another to encourage saving money.
Opportunities to communicate with virtual or human assistants
Being able to easily find answers to queries or resolve problems is key for providing an excellent customer experience. In a digital world, it is normal for customers to use live chat. Virtual assistants are available any time of the day to help customers with any questions. This is effective for smaller queries that customers may be concerned about that could get resolved in a small time frame.
However, customers should have the option to transfer over the chat to a real employee with regards to any more complex queries and this shouldn’t be hidden away. If customers can be offered both services, this will increase customer satisfaction and give the bank a good reputation. The less time customers have to spend trying to find an answer or resolution from the bank, the more pleasant their experience will be.
The all-important brand experience
And last, but certainly not least, is the overall look and feel of the bank’s website or app.
It is essential that FIs consider everything that their customers see and do whilst on their product. It needs to be worthwhile and the design can definitely help impact the overall customer experience. A nice greeting message and a clear layout will give the customer a positive and welcoming feeling.
Whilst all these features and trends are necessary, it is key that they also represent the brand whilst giving off a positive image to the customer. The overall ‘identity’ of the bank’s website or app will help the customer to make a connection with the bank.
Overall, there are many reasons why banks should keep up with digital UX and trends. As customers are getting more technical, it is essential that banks improve their digital offering and add value with multiple features. This will not only improve the customer experience, but retain customers and encourage new ones to join.
Customers want to have all money management features in one place, including personalised messages and options to split bills or share accounts with clear visibility of spending. Encouraging others to budget is a feature that more banks should offer, as it can encourage family and friends to save up for special moments. In addition, customers want to be alerted of any new updates regarding their account. Finally, the overall brand experience has to feel welcoming and offer value. A fantastic brand experience narrows down to the design and interactive features, such as personalised messages and accessible customer service.
Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss how we can help you improve your online banking services!