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Is your Bank, a primary Bank of the customer?

On an average, a financial literate person has a minimum of two banking accounts. Now, that bank which caters to most of the banking needs of the customer reaps greater business benefits. Customer retention and also acquisition of new business is guaranteed when a bank ensures that its customers have their banking accounts as primary banking accounts.

Now the question is, "Is your bank, the primary bank of your customer? If not, then how to make it one?

Gone are the days when proximity was the one of the main reasons for a customer choosing a particular bank/branch. With the digital initiatives, it is not surprising when a salary account holder tells that he had never visited the bank/branch which has opened his salary account.

Let's take this scenario.

Mr. X gets a salary credit to an account held at Bank A. Post the salary credit, he transfers a substantial sum to an account held at Bank B. From Bank B, the monthly EMIs to all his loan accounts, the monthly SIPs towards his savings, or instalments towards Recurring Deposits/Savings take place. Except for the salary credit, the account at Bank A is not used whereas the account at Bank B is the primary account of the customer. The chances that the customer might retain account at Bank B are more. The customer wouldn't mind closing his salary account at Bank A in case there is a change in the salary relationship.

Here are top 5 initiatives (not necessarily in the same order) which may enable in ensuring that your bank

is the primary financial service provider

Hook your customer: A customer signing up for multiple products is likely to be loyal and also the chances of retention of the bank account which has links to the said account is very high. Many products hooked to your customer means that he is hooked to the bank.

Be a Phone Call Away: When a relationship manager says that he is just a phone call away and truly means it, it does offer customer delight. Take the case of Mr. X who has a friend visiting him over and states that he would like to open an NRI account at the earliest. Mr. X calls up the relationship manager and the fastest tat within which the RM addresses it definitely defeats any number of referral campaigns the bank needs to get new customers.

With the digital banking and other avenues helping customers bank on the go, the number of customers visiting branches of the banks has drastically reduced. Though this helps in reducing the associated cost of customer visit to the branches, banks feel that the cross-sell opportunities which generally comes with the customer visit diminish over the long run. Also, the possibility of establishing a customer rapport for generation of new leads and also for generation of new business with existing client is lost owing to less face to face personal interaction. In such a scenario, it becomes imperative that the RM is readily available when needed is the one who would help in deepening the relationship and take up the business opportunities that come his/her way.

Truly Digital Banking: The embracing of digital banking is a boon to many banks which definitely helps in customer retention. The attrition rate of customers who embrace digital initiatives of the banks is very less. Banks tapping young customers are likely to have a niche share in segments. The ease with which customers are able to make payments over social media (like WhatsApp, Facebook) would definitely be a decision maker for a customer to choose a primary bank account.

Moreover, clients expect banking-on-the-go from the mobiles. Self-driven approach is preferred by

millennials while a few prefer the conventional human touch points.

Analytics all the way: There has been a debit of an amount towards mutual fund in a customer's account. (obviously not purchased through the bank). Bank needs to realize that this customer needn't be sold the concept of mutual fund. However, he can be approached with the banquet of mutual fund products that can be purchased from them.

Analytics helps in ascertaining customer behavior and to determine customer preferences.

Safe Banking: A customer would definitely want his bank account to be safe and expects his bank to have checks and balances in place. Any amount of personalized service would not satisfy a customer who feels that his bank is not equipped with proper risk management and compliant procedures. Digital banking initiatives should come with safe and smart systems.

With rise in number of banks a customer can have at his disposal, banks need to be more proactive and adopt quick measures so as to ensure that their bank is the primary financial service provider. Simple and smart measures can enable banks to withstand the hefty competition. With new age fin tech players trying to get their own market share too, the quicker the banks adopt a strategy, the better. 


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