Once upon a time, banks had all the power. Customers went to a branch for just about everything, and the bank would scrutinize that person’s financial situation to determine their “worthiness.”
My, oh my, how things have changed.
Technology has given power back to the people. Today, customers want products, procedures and processes that deliver exactly what they want. If a bank doesn’t measure up, another one will.
The following five trends are just a few of the futuristic features that today’s full-service banks are actively pursuing—and delivering. If your bank can’t demonstrate this kind of service, maybe you should find one that will.
Simpler, Customer-friendly Strategies
Banks are cleaning the attic, dumping products that don’t work for today’s digital customer. Offerings that used to be bundled together are now broken out, letting you pick and choose the features that fit your needs. Banking apps are easier to use, and you can use them to do more—deposit checks, transfer money, pay bills, etc.
More “One-and-Done” Transactions
Before technology took over, banks moved pretty slowly. Customers were sent to different places or people to do different things. Not any more. Walls between departments are coming down, and banks are integrating all of your products and accounts in one digital bucket. If you visit a bank with multiple needs (a car loan application, opening a CD, and transferring money overseas, for example), one bank employee can help you with all of it, and you never have to leave your seat.
These days, we want to be connected to our money anytime, anywhere, for anything. And banks are heeding that call. Brick & mortar branches are evolving to smaller neighborhood centers for basic day-to-day needs. Smart ATMs can do just about anything a teller can do. And if you need a teller, you’ll be connected to one via videoconference on the ATM screen. Add in smartphone apps, social media, and remote call centers, and the 24/7 services we want are at ours to command.
Realizing that there is a new digital economy, many banks are working on sharing plans with innovative technology startups—those who thrive on trying, failing, and trying again. Through these partnerships, banks can subsidize the trial-and-error phase, knowing they can adopt the finished, proven product to roll out to customers. Another partnership that is a win-win for everyone? The marriage of a bank and a “homes for sale” listing service. From the bank’s website, you can look through listings, click through to get specific mortgage advice, interest rates and projected payments. Start the mortgage application online, and stay updated on the approval process via text alerts.
Even though we all love technology, recent studies show that 80% of us still want to experience a personal touch when it comes to our finances. Therefore, banks are pioneering with ways to remain people-oriented in a digital world. Other than a real person answering your phone call, you can expect things like being able to send a personal message or explanatory note along with online payments, and fun things like online games to increase awareness of a new product or upgraded service.