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An article relating to this blog post on Finextra:

Banks need to personalise online services - Gartner

Banks are in danger of losing online customers unless they improve the levels of personalisation and communication offered, according to US and UK surveys from analyst house Gartner.

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Is This Thing On? Captain Obvious - Is That You?

News Flash:

"US Forest Service Study Determines - Bears ARE Dangerous"

"U of M Survey Confirms - Employees Would Be Happy With Shorter Work Hours at the Same Pay"

"Department of Transportation Study Confirms for the 1,432nd Time - Seat Belts Save Lives"

I love Gartner, truly. Gartner, Forrester and the other research firms have saved me hundreds of hours of legwork and investigation when I have been searching for best in class software, service and technical solutions. And, Gartner also gives me an excuse to use the term "Magic Quadrant" without sounding like I'm speaking about the scoring box in a Quidditch match at Hogwarts.

It doesn't take a survey to establish support for the notion that banks are lagging way far behind the pack when it comes to personalisation. My Amazon account presents me with recommendations every time I log on. My Facebook page is tailored to include all the information I deem important at the moment and I can change it whenever I want to. The same goes for my iGoogle account, as well as my LinkedIn presence. NetFlix recommends multiple suggestions for my next DVD rental based on my own rating of films that I have watched previously.

The end user experience of personalisation has been a decade old phenomenon, but it takes Gartner pointing out that customers want easier, faster and more customizable service offerings for their online banking experience? The condition of the customer side user interface experience is directly correlated to the laissez-faire attitude that most retail banks have when it comes to the concept of customer service. If banks are charging us for interacting with a live teller, what would make us even remotely consider that banks should be motivated by market pressures and technical realities to provide us with a better customer experience on the web?

Personal financial software still remains the only solution for banking customers who want a more detailed view of their financial environment. And, even that category is struggling with the recent announcement of Microsoft's exit from the business with the shuttering of the MS Money product. Now is the time for banks and service partners to collaborate in the creation of a content rich and high value interface for their customers. The technology exists and the demand is there.

While banks won't make gobs of money directly through these types of offerings, it is obvious that they will cultivate deeper (albeit virtual) relationships with their customers while differentiating themselves from their competitors.

Seems pretty obvious to me.


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