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The bank of the future

COVID-19 and the rise of digital banking

With social distancing guidelines still in place to reduce the transmission rate of COVID-19, many consumers have replaced visits to bank branches with digital banking solutions. Research by Finder shows that nearly a quarter (23%) of Britons opened an account with a digital-only bank this year.

Even though branches have become less popular, they are vital for revenue generation and to provide a personalised service for traditional customers. So, as the banking infrastructure and consumer needs rapidly change, banks need to rethink their digital strategies while also retaining this USP.

Bridging customer experience and digitisation

With digital challenger banks becoming more popular, there has been more noise around “the bank of the future” – a bank that leverages technology and ecosystem partnerships to deliver a seamless customer experience.

While challenger banks have been quick off the mark to embrace digital technology, traditional banks have a history of delivering a personalised customer experience. For “the bank of the future”, both of these qualities are vital. Therefore, traditional and challenger banks must bridge the physical and digital to provide a human-centric digital banking experience, and an omni-channel strategy to prepare for what is to come.

Creating human-centric digital banking

To be effective, digital solutions need to be seamless and aligned with their customers’ needs. Recently, our Banking Friction report found that UK digital banking apps were in need of attention. We found that although major UK retail banks have an average app rating of 4.7 out of 5, specific features, such as login and sign-up (2.0), notifications (2.5), and customer services (2.6), scored quite low.

An example of a bank that has embraced a human-centric approach to customer experience is ila Bank – the first digital-only bank in Bahrain. Mobiquity’s “team as a service”, including strategists, creatives, and engineers, worked with Bank ABC to build ila. We eliminated customer frictions to seamlessly digitally onboard customers with a ‘selfie’ and a picture of their ID in under five minutes and we implemented a celebration screen following onboarding to make every customer feel special and rewarded. ila also integrated an AI-powered virtual assistant, “Fatema”, which provides a 24/7 personalised banking experience for customers – not just in a bank branch. Banks need to combine technological solutions with a human touchpoint to bolster their relationship with their customers, even in the digital world.

“The bank of the future” will leverage the latest technology to overcome venue-based limitations, allowing them to access their customers and provide a quality customer experience anywhere and at any time. For example, you could go into a Starbucks and order a coffee. While you’re waiting, you could open a mobile banking app to check your bank balance and get a notification from your bank that they would like to speak to you. With access to your transactions, they know you’re in Starbucks and they offer to pay for your coffee as an incentive. With technological innovations like this, customers can leverage enhanced banking services during their day-to-day activities and banks can incentivise their customers to use their services, improving the customer experience.

Future banking could also integrate a community financial services hub – a futuristic collaborative project where banks occupy the same retail space, reducing overheads and the competition for retail space. Customers who require in-person banking services can visit the hub where they will be greeted by a digital assistant who assesses who you are, what bank you’re with, and if they can service you. By offering a premium for the traditional banking experience, banks can carve out new revenue opportunities while still provisioning for their customers who require face-to-face banking, such as older and vulnerable people. Therefore, the journey to becoming “the bank of the future” should include all customers, including those who can’t, or may not want to, use digital services.  

For banks to future proof themselves and stay competitive, they should leverage human-centric technological solutions to improve customer experience and reduce churn.


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Matthew Williamson

Matthew Williamson

Vice President of Global Financial Services


Member since

10 Jul 2015



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