Blog article
See all stories »

A better Internet Bank? Who gets it right...

Take a look at your retail or consumer banking website or homepage. I can 100% guarantee that regardless of who you are, and in what market you are in that I know exactly which part of the site is clicked on most. Contact us? Nope. Press Releases - definitely not. The biggest Ad banner on the homepage? Nope...

Figured it out. Well the headline gives it away. It is the login button. In developed economies click-thru rate from the bank homepage can be as high as 97% of traffic that visits the homepage, and in developing markets it still hovers around 70-75% generally.

The thing is that in most cases banks spend a considerable amount of money each year trying to entice new customers to apply online or to send in their details so someone in the mortgages team, call centre, preferred banking or private banking team can reach out to them. Acquisition must be a key metric of any direct channel team today. However, in most cases the visitors to your homepage are existing customers. Thus, 70-95% of daily traffic is being channelled immediately from the homepage to the secure internet banking website behind the login.

So let's get this straight. Your bank marketing team has just spent US$1m upgrading your site and putting offers all over 3rd party properties to direct traffic to your website and trigger acquisitions, but still 95% of visitors are clicking through to Internet Banking. How much product are you selling behind the login? Well, if you are most banks - virtually zero. Why? Because most managers see Internet Banking as a transaction platform designed to lower the cost of operations by transferring low-margin or costly transactions to a direct channel with a lower cost than a branch or call centre.

While the logic is sound on cost savings and channel migration from a transactional point of view there are huge advantages in utilizing your Internet Banking portal for targeted cross-sell and up-sell to existing, valued customers. Those advantages include:

1. Better closure rates because of the ability to accurately target
2. Low KYC and Compliance workload for bank/customer because of the existing relationship
3. Much higher impressions than 'public website' homepage and 3rd party acquisition attempts
4. Lower cost of acquisition, and
5. Improvements in service perceptions

I know of only a few banks in the world that have targeted, focused customer cross-sell initiatives behind the login - certainly less than a dozen banks have figured this out! This shows a complete and utter lack of understanding of customer engagement through the online channel by bank marketing teams, and a core lack of offer management skill set based on customer behavioural analytics. If you know of anymore let me know...

The first bank that is on my Best Internet Banking sales effort list is HSBC. In 2006 in Hong Kong they invested heavily in a second-generation Personal Internet Banking portal that included advanced Sales Campaign Management capabilities. This was new, no one had even really thought of selling beyond banner ads within Internet Banking, and their clever use of the behind-the-login space to position specific offers for segments of customers was the first initiative I know of where someone connected the dots between homepage traffic and i-Bank potential.

The One HSBC project, which commenced in 2008, is the next iteration in this story and is due to be largely complete by the end of this year according to early press. Not only will the affectionately named "OneH" give customers an integrated sales and service platform within their Internet banking space, but the customer experience will be consistent from one channel to the next through an enhanced single customer view. Branch staff, call centre staff, personal financial advisors and the customer's own view through internet banking will be consistent. Customers who move from one country to another will also find a consistent Internet banking and service experience across the brand. With targeted cross-sell and up-sell messages at each point of your journey, regardless of which channel you come to.

Wells Fargo in the US takes an embedded hyperlink approach to offer management by serving up contextual cross-sell and up-sell offers next to your accounts in your account summary screen. So as you are looking at your outstanding credit card balance you might see a hyperlink for "Upgrade to Platinum" or "Increase Credit Limit" appearing contextually within the page.

Barclays uses a combination of the two with their "At a glance" feature helping customers find better ways of saving money, improving their utilization of Internet Banking and linking or bundling products - like mortgages and home insurance for example. Barclay's also lists credit products like personal loans, credit cards, etc that you are already pre-approved for. So before you even have to ask, Barclay's can tell you what they are likely to lend you based on your relationship and credit history. That's progress...

And that's about it.

All these banks the world over using Internet Banking and almost none of them are making any effort to effectively position targeted, personalized cross-sell and up-sell offers to existing customers. The overwhelmingly dominant visitors to your homepage are probably being ignored from a sales perspective because your marketers stop at the public website.

If you are in a bank have a look at why your marketing team isn't crafting better offers for customers behind the login - it is a massive source of hidden revenue opportunities.


Comments: (0)

Now hiring