The idea of offering results ‘right now’ is becoming a competing differentiator in various industries. Examples are galore: same-day delivery in retail industry, immediate booking of cab through mobile apps, live streaming of cricket matches, immediate
blood sugar checks, among others. These strategies have helped organizations in other industries enhance customer stickiness through technology-led service delivery. The users of all these services are also banking customers, who certainly expect the same
level of customer experience. Are the banks prepared?
The regulatory pressure has put a dent on the interest income of the banks. Margins are under stress. Therefore, non-interest, fee-based income is seen as an alternative that can keep bank’s investors happy. To achieve this, banks need to attract more
customers, nurture the existing customers, and ensure stickiness. Is that happening? Many banks would argue that this is a constant work-in-progress. If you counter question: why do you lag behind other industries in customer-focused innovation in terms of
instant gratification? The answer would be instantaneous - We are a regulated industry. This is probably the root cause of the delta. Banks are actually delaying their innovation in the name of regulatory pressure. On the contrary, the current regulatory
landscape promotes technology to safeguard customer’s interest.
Most customers visit banks in a state of distress or to fulfill an aspiration. However, many a times, banks have lost the opportunity to realign their strategy in understanding and profiling categories of customers and offering contextual products without
(or with reasonable) time lag. Instances are there when bank’s own customer, with positive credit score, in a state of medical distress have had to wait 3-4 working days for a personal loan disbursal. In such scenarios, they have fallen prey to unregulated
moneylenders. This is definitely a lost opportunity for the bank.
As per the co-founder of Flipkart, a fast-growing Indian e-commerce provider, “In
India already 70% of internet consumption today is happening on mobile. In China it's less than 50% and in US even lesser at 30%.” In a recent blog,
Forrester has identified that mobile apps, customer analytics, and digital engagement systems are the key investment priorities for Indian banks. The banks should see this as an opportunity. If banks are able to leverage the available digital technologies
and vet customers based on analytics, it will not be far when banks can offer instant gratification to customers. In a digital and connected world, time lag in service-delivery is certainly not an option. Additionally, these steps would help banks in lowering
miss-selling and also bring that much needed loyalty. It’s high time banks realize keeping customers loyal is the only avenue to profitably monetize banking relationships.
The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity