- On June 10, 2019
Technology has changed the way we do business in every sector and banking is no exception. In the past few years, advances have been astounding. Five or six years ago, most people still wrote checks occasionally and stopping at the bank was a routine errand.
Today’s customers have little need for the local branch. They’re looking for a bank to keep up with technology that offers them the convenience of getting rid of those tedious errands when they’re unnecessary. At the same time, customer experience needs to go hand-in-hand with trust, especially where their preferred bank is concerned. Banking 2020 will be about living up to the customer’s expectations without sacrificing the safety and security they need in the institutions they trust with their future.
Banking 2020 and the Priority on Customer Experience
In 2020, and presumably beyond, the main priority will be in meeting customer expectations. The biggest banking organizations have some advantage in their ability to scale and implement the best technology. That doesn’t make them bullet proof in today’s global market. New organizations and non-banking options are quickly gaining traction with customers who are very willing to take a chance on an organization that prioritizes their convenience and deference for a digital solution to their financial needs.
Projections can be difficult to make in a lot of areas, but the current and past trends indicate that customer experience will continue to be a large priority for institutions who want to maintain and gain customers. In today’s market, the customer wants a seamless experience. They’ve become adept at using a plethora of devices to accomplish all of their daily tasks and banking should be no different. For financial institutions, what the end user sees is only part of the process. With the access to new technology that helps complete previously manual transactions, there needs to be a prioritization on the security processes that will keep these digital transactions safe.
Many large organizations have spent the last several years assessing and closing local branches where they were deemed unnecessary. This is a trend that will continue. Banking in 2020 will continue to evolve to see less need for in person visits to a local branch, with exceptions for specific issues where a personal banker might be necessary. While this trend saves man-hours that were previously spent processing transactions, it means additional personnel to handle aspects of the digital process and remote customer service.
Top Trends to Expect in 2020
Here are a few of the trends we expect to see flourish and continue in 2020:
Banking with Alexa
Do customers really want to speak their financial information into a device that’s jokingly called “wiretap”? The possibly odd answer is “Yes, they do”. It wasn’t a large organization that first rolled out the ability to bank with Alexa, it was Numerica Credit Union. The truth is that a large section of your banking demographic will want this option. They use artificial intelligence on a regular basis and want to trust a financial institution that meets their preferences in digital platforms.
Blockchain is currently one of the hottest topics in commercial banking. The technology allows for a much faster, more secure transaction for customers and ease for the bank once implemented. Implementation can be daunting, which is why some organizations haven’t moved more fully in this direction yet. We expect that it will be if not fully implemented, at least more fully by 2020.
Chatbots offer a great ability to meet customer service needs without straining your employees. Customers engage well with this type of artificial intelligence because it offers immediate help for simple questions. When the issue is more complex, the chatbox technology can be programed to alert a customer service representative to step in and aid the customer.
Digital Transaction Options
Customers continue to prize convenience over most aspects of banking. Many look for financial institutions where they can easily transfer funds, make deposits, check balances, and receive funds without ever stepping near a banking location. Banks that want to keep up will expand on services that allow transfers of funds between separate banking institutions and options like depositing checks by taking a picture.
Cybersecurity and Protocol for Breaches
Security is a large concern for banking organizations for obvious reasons. There needs to be a priority on not only meeting regulatory requirements, but meeting customer expectations. Protecting digital transaction information from nefarious forces is only part of this aspect of banking in 2020. Your stated protocol for breaches and how you handle any security issue is as important as the defenses you put in place. While customers prize convenience, they don’t prize it enough to trust an organization where their funds are at risk.
Recent trends indicate that the banking market will continue to see large organizations and non-financial organizations both thrive in the future. While some customers will automatically lean toward large organizations with a history that builds trust, others will prioritize technological advances above a storied past. For large organizations, that means advancing your digital performance to keep up with newer innovations.