Bank customers warm to virtual channels for 'high touch' interactions

Bank customers warm to virtual channels for 'high touch' interactions

Customers around the world are becoming increasingly comfortable carrying out major "high touch" interactions with their banks through virtual channels, according to a survey from Cisco.

Of 1514 people from 10 countries quizzed by the IT giant, around two thirds say that they want access to banking services whenever they need them, that they want competent advisors, and that they want efficient communications.

In order to get these things, respondents are willing to use digital channels - 71% are comfortable with the increasing use of virtual communications in addition to in-person financial conversations.

Specifically, 60% say that they are happy to open an account online, 57% are okay with getting a loan over virtual communications, and 46% are willing to video chat with an advisor.

More than half of those polled are also willing to receive real-time notifications to help with financial or purchase decisions. Even more - 59% - are comfortable being sent recommendations or advice from their bank based on location data from their mobile phone.

Respondents are also prepared to share data for security purposes, with 61% saying that they would provide a fingerprint in exchange for protection against identity theft.

However, while customers are prepared to hand over more data, 60% do not want their banks to share it with third parties.

Jorgen Ericsson, VP, global financial services practice, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group, says: "Retail banks that succeed in providing a seamless customer experience across all channels to market- branch, mobile, online, contact centre- will be the winners of the future. Superior customer experience will be the only long term sustainable differentiator."

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