UK banking group HBOS has signed a five-year agreement with VeriSIM to develop interactive simulations of its Web banking and share dealing services that will be used to encourage customers to register for online banking.
The new agreement follows an initial twelve-month contract with Halifax to reproduce its Internet banking service. Halifax says during this initial test phase, customers were provided with a full replica of its net banking site through the post, to demonstrate the benefits of banking online.
VeriSIM says the interactive simulations will enable customers and employees to access the full functionality of the online banking and share dealing systems using fictional accounts.
HBOS says allowing customers the opportunity to try out e-commerce services prior to signing up has given them the confidence to move to Internet banking.
Angus Kerr, head of sales performance, retail e-commerce, HBOS, says expecting customers to try bill payment and direct debit instructions for the first time with their own live accounts can prove just too much.
"Now, through VeriSIM's technology, we can provide customers with full access to our systems to familiarise themselves with the services on offer prior to signing-up," says Kerr.
The banking group plans to use the simulations for staff training as well as for further customer marketing initiatives.
HBOS has also implemented Web analytics tools from SPSS in a bid to boost customer retention and improve the sale conversion rate on loans pages on its Web site.
SPSS says its solution allows HBOS to have an overview of customer behaviour on the site and to determine the pages visitors look at. The system also highlights areas of the site that may need further development.
Martyn Reeves, UK country manager, SPSS, says: "Analysing customer behaviour and then ensuring that users are receiving the information they are looking for in a simple, timely and easy-to-access format is key to success."