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Synchronisation - digital banking's future

Last month I attended a fascinating Marketforce conference on ‘The Future of Digital Banking’, which explored how to optimise digital channels. It got me thinking about how banks and financial service providers need a coherent and effective digital banking strategy across all their banking mediums.

First Direct launched the UK’s first true transactional banking app for Apple’s iPhone in early 2011. Today, two and a half years on, our recent research shows almost half (48%) of all British consumers expect to be able to bank with whatever device they like, including smartphones and tablets. Furthermore, one in six British consumers are even already interested in using Google Glass to manage their finances, without even seeing or testing a working prototype.

For me, the most significant aspect of multiple platform banking is that all mediums are synchronised so they have the same look and feel. With banking via web browsers and mobile banking via apps all playing increasing roles, organisations need to streamline their current channels to provide a complete digital offering for their customers.

For example, consumers expect to log onto their bank account and manage their finances in the same way, whether it’s a smartphone app or online web browser. Synchronising the user experience makes managing money simpler and quicker for users. Plus, synchronisation also means customers will find it easier to get to grips with how each channel works. This helps reluctant customer segments, such as the 55+ age range (which in our research were the least likely to use digital banking) more likely to accept and benefit from the variety of methods at their disposal.

As we help financial service organisations to bring digital banking to the masses, the challenge will be synchronising all channels, including those in the near future such as Smart TV and mediums that haven’t been developed yet. You never know, once Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic space mission launches I’d like to think customers will be accessing their bank accounts from space, using even more advanced digital banking mediums.

 

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Comments: (1)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 18 June, 2013, 17:14Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

According to personal experience and anecdotal evidence, customers are bound to want to access their bank accounts from a variety of "devices" including branch, but not necessarily to do the same thing. In my view, different channels have different strengths (e.g. branch is great for handling documentation) and different banking needs have different frequencies (e.g. no one really wants to open a fixed deposit every day but every one might want to check their account balances every day, especially in outer space after having paid big bucks to Virgin Galactic to get there!), so omnichannel - rather than multichannel - banking might strike the right balance between cost and benefit for a bank. Definitions and examples for omnichannel and multichannel can be found in the three part blog post titled Jumping On The Omnichannel Bandwagon (hyperlink removed) on my company blog.