First Data bids to set banking Digital Agenda

Source: First Data

Today First Data Corporation, a global leader in commerce-enabling technology and solutions, launches ‘The Digital Agenda’ to help clients grow their business by delivering innovative digital solutions that transform the customer experience, making it easier and more compelling for customers to adopt their products and services.

Simultaneously, a First Data study has revealed that 32% of retail banking customers feel that their mobile banking app does not perform as well as their online banking through a browser.

The YouGov study, commissioned by First Data, questioned over 2,000 UK consumers about their experiences with digital banking. More than half (58%) have never used a mobile banking app. This is surprising given smartphones are fast becoming the UK user’s number one device for browsing the internet and using social media, according to Ofcom.

Less surprising will be the way that those customers use mobile banking apps. Most are using them to check their balance (89%), view transaction history (75%), transfer money between accounts (61%) and to pay someone they know (55%). But what’s perhaps not being recognised by many banks is that people that use mobile banking apps want to see more and richer features made available in-app, such as the ability to see direct debits (62%), the ability to set up new payments (60%) and the ability to see full transaction history (57%).

As well as functionality, respondents were asked about their attitudes to digital banking and how they would react initially to seeing a transaction on their account they didn’t recognise; over half (51%) of respondents said their first reaction would be to phone their bank rather than investigate online. Whilst 25% said identifying the transaction themselves would be most important to them. 50% of respondents said the most important thing to them would be to identify the transaction, followed by suspending their card (19%). This all points towards the potential that customers could easily manage unrecognised transactions via a digital process as long as it responds to both their functional and emotional needs.

The results highlight that there is a new kind of digitally savvy customer that the banks now need to cater for and this customer profile will only become more prevalent in future. Customers currently believe that additional digital features would be beneficial in resolving transaction discrepancies, such as providing further information on the transaction (28%) or having an instant messenger chat with the bank (24%). This new type of banking customer is open to transformations in their banking experience that make the service more transparent, secure and time saving.

Credit management is also an area ripe for digital innovation. Less than a third (28%) of those who have ever carried over an outstanding balance on their credit card for three or more months said they felt supported by their credit card provider to help pay off their outstanding balance more quickly. It is interesting to see that most respondents (59%) managed repayments on their own, and prefer to do so (77%). We can deduce from this that enabling and empowering customers to plan and manage paying off their balance digitally would benefit both parties.

Keith Rowling, Managing Director UK and Ireland, First Data comments: “First Data’s Digital Agenda is a digital innovation strategy based on three pillars; re-visiting overlooked opportunities to apply existing digital technology previously overlooked by financial institutions; devising new digital solutions to address newly identified customer needs and finally, scanning the market and industry over a longer term horizon looking at potentially transformative technologies to apply to digital banking services for our clients and their customers”

He continues “It’s clear from our consumer survey that functionality, transactional fraud management and repayment management could all be better managed digitally, from the perspective of both bank and customer. For that, we are here to help our clients implement innovative new solutions that are focussed on customer needs”.

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