Banks need to personalise online services - Gartner

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.

The company polled a total of 3988 UK and US adults on attitudes and behaviour related to retail payments, banking and investments services.

The survey shows people in both countries are heavy users of online banking and over 40% use at least two banking sites, meaning they are in a position to compare features.

Both US and UK consumers rank security the most important online feature, followed by single sign-on. They also rate highly the ability to deposit cheques online from home and set up a separate account to save up for a specific goal. Other top ranking features included the ability to set up alerts for account and credit card balances and to analyse spending and cash flow.

Younger respondents value features that enable customisation of their online banking experience, while older customers seek tools that let them use current services more effectively or communicate better.

In addition, older consumers want features that make the online banking channel itself easier to use, while younger people are looking for additional financial planning tools to help them manage their money more effectively.

Stessa Cohen, research director, Gartner, says the survey highlights the fact customers and banks want very different things on Web sites.

"Customers want to personalise their experiences, analyse their transaction and payment data, so they can better manage their money, pay bills and transfer funds. Banks want to sell customers more products. Banks that neglect personalisation trends now will sacrifice online - and possibly mobile - banking customers later," says Cohen.

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 29 July, 2009, 11:56Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

At a time when banks face increasing competition and risk losing customers from all channels due to their tarnished reputations of late, it is clear that they cannot rest on their laurels when it comes to making customers happy. Providing personalised and unique experiences, products, services and advice for each customer is now the only way to keep customers on board and grow wallet share. This study from Gartner reiterates how banks really need to start optimising the customer experience online as well as through its more traditional channels such as its branch network and telephone banking services. Banks therefore need to take advantage of technology that can help them tailor their web services and improve communication levels to meet their customers' needs. Some forward thinking banks are already making use of such technology that personalises the customer experience online and provides next best action recommendations based on customer data, interaction history and what the customer is doing in the online banking application at any given time. Only by engaging with customers via all channels through personalised and relevant communications can banks ensure loyalty during these testing times.