#DigitalBanking #CX / The State of Banking in 2021 According to Bankers and Consumers

… Perhaps if there’s any silver lining in this past year, it’s that it has taught many financial institutions how to adapt to a digital-first environment — fast. Now it’s time to take all the learnings and lessons of this past year and apply them effectively to 2021.

How aligned are consumers and financial institutions in 2021?

A critical part of staying ahead in 2021 is how well financial institutions understand consumers’ needs and demands, and how closely those needs align with the institution’s investment in resources…

The common themes: Financial wellness, Digital experience, and Better data

At the beginning of 2020, 29% of respondents said their biggest objective was financial wellness tools, followed closely by 22% who said digital experience initiatives. When asked about how those goals are projected to change in 2021, we saw a slight shift with digital experience initiatives taking the lead with 29% of respondents making that their focus, followed by 25% who said financial wellness tools was their main priority.

… 78% of respondents said that they want their bank to prioritize digital (online and mobile banking) strategies above physical banking ( branch and ATMs) in 2021… 63% of consumers surveyed said that they’d like for their bank to send them proactive, personalized messages and alerts that help them manage their finances. When it comes to data, consumers also expressed interest in having a streamlined banking experience where they can see all their finances in one place.

Financial Wellness… 68% of consumers would like their banking experience to be similar to the experience they have with Netflix, Amazon, and other tech companies that understand their needs and offer recommendations based on their information. In other words, consumers want to be seen and heard — and in general, one-size-fits-all offers simply don’t work. Consumers have become so accustomed to everything being tailored to their specific needs, from shows and playlists to purchase recommendations that they want their financial institution to anticipate what they’re looking for and provide them with hyper-personalized products and offers to match their needs at a specific point in time.

… consumer survey also shows that 79% of respondents said that they’d like for their bank to help them understand how they can invest and grow their money. This is a huge opportunity for growth for financial institutions…

Digital Experience… when we asked consumers what their primary form of banking would be in 2021, 78% said that mobile would be their prefered choice. That means the majority of people don’t plan on going back to the branch — at least not as frequently. However, what is surprising is that … 63% of consumers surveyed said that branch closures didn’t negatively impact their relationship with their bank.

… When we asked consumers if physical branches will play a critical role in how they interact with their bank in 2021, 57% said no… In general, when mobile and online banking are done right, the branch simply can’t compete, and it shouldn’t have to. Surprisingly, however, even though branches were not a main focus or priority in 2021, 36% of bankers strongly agree, and 49% agree that physical branches will play a critical role in maintaining customer engagement in 2021. Perhaps it’s more about rethinking how the branch fits into the whole value-add equation.

… financial institutions seem to be on board that mobile and online banking are the future… 46% strongly agree, and 49% agree that creating a consistent and reliable user experience across platforms is a priority for their institution in 2021…

Better Data & The Financial Feed… 95% of the bankers we surveyed said that easily accessible and actionable data is essential to success in 2021… 54% of bankers said their data strategy initiatives have progressed and interest has accelerated for 2021. And 93% agree that the expansion of effective data usage throughout their organization is critical in the coming year.

… [Consumers] want solutions that are simple, intuitive, and practical — solutions that work with their lifestyles. Data-driven experiences are exactly what financial institutions need to deliver on. In fact, 91% of consumers surveyed said that it is important for them that their bank offers the ability to connect all their accounts in one place. They want one convenient place to see all their credit cards, loans, and bills with the ability to create budgets, receive proactive notifications and manage their entire financial lives with a few clicks on their mobile devices.

Financial institutions need to create a financial feed that allows their customers to easily move, view, and interact with their money from one place. In turn, financial institutions can use this platform, coupled with data, to present their customers with more relevant offers…