I bank with one of the UK big five. You probably know it. I use their app, which has all the standard security features you would expect from a modern mobile banking app, for checking my accounts and for moving money around at certain points in the month.
Often it’s all quite transactional and rather siloed and if I want to do something a bit more complicated – like taking out a loan or opening a new account – I tend to visit a branch. And if I’ve started this process online before going into branch, I often
have to start the whole thing all over again when I step inside.
This can feel frustrating and a bit disjointed. As a modern consumer who spends a lot of time connected to the online world, I want to feel like the organisations I deal with know me, that I can start something online and finish it in person, and that I
can have a personalised service, whatever platform I’m using.
My relationship with my bank has remained somewhat transactional, while other industries and retailers have used technology to transform their approach to customer service. Despite all the information it has about me, some interactions with my bank feel
process driven, through seemingly quite separate channels.
But, things are set to change - fast. In my experience helping the UK and Ireland’s largest financial institutions, I have seen banks making huge efforts to transform their technology suites in branch and online – so that they can better connect their channels.
Their end goal is that when a customer goes into branch or switches from one channel to another, the process is seamless. Ultimately, it will result in banks talking the same language as their customers.
The need for this change has been driven by a shift in power – banks, which have traditionally controlled the services offered to their customers, now find themselves in a situation where customers are able to demand more. Consumers are used to choice, and
used to being able to shop around to get what they want, without compromising.
There is still some way to go before banks are able to fully meet these new demands and talk exactly the same language as their customers. It will involve integrating their physical and digital platforms with technologies in branch and behind-the-scenes,
to offer a customer focused, connected banking experience.
This is a huge challenge for banks that have years of legacy systems to work with, but it’s a necessary change. With these developments on the horizon, we can soon expect to have more joined-up, consumer-friendly banking lives.