Banks are increasingly expanding their ecosystem so they can establish deeper relationships with their customers. The need to provide products and services over and above traditional banking products and rewarding customers for their loyalty is more important now with an increased number of entrants in the financial services space. For some banks, who are part of a larger conglomerate of companies, there is a natural linkage to these companies that can be leveraged. For other banks, establishing these preferred relationships becomes key to remaining competitive.
There are key target areas for banks as they continue to grow customer relationships. Fast, convenient payments provide both the bank and their merchants with opportunities to strengthen and reward customer loyalty. Lifestyle features for redeeming rewards, timely and meaningful offers and coupons, on-demand loans at the point of purchase just to name a few areas explored by many financial services companies to broaden their customer engagements. Meeting the customer where they live by providing value and a seamless customer experience are foundational for relationship expansion.
It goes without saying, but a digital-first, omnichannel approach is the enabler to relationship expansion.
Some of the key points to consider:
- Know Your Customer – Single Identity
- Knowing the customer should span across all entities in the ecosystem that share the customer. This ranges from onboarding once to a single set of credentials. The potential of using a federated ID for the customer, supported by Blockchain technology will be an enabler for supporting single sign-on across entities
- Where allowed by the regulators, the UI for a specific “app” or digital presence should show the entire relationship of the customer. Their types of accounts, rewards, etc.
- In developing countries, how do banks verify that the identity is genuine (in the absence of a national ID system? Will Biometrics play a role?
- Branding and UX
- It’s highly likely that the customer will be using multiple “apps” or digital touchpoints of the ecosystem. Branding to support not only the primary entity of the app; but reflects the holistic group or ecosystem is also important
- Banks must be clear with their selling and value proposition. This will unify the purpose and branding of the different apps the banks are selling. The UI must tell that story or customer journey that the brand espouses
- Effective branding at the UI/UX layer will be the primary “glue” for the customer to understand they are part of a larger system than just the bank
- Market research and the use of UX experts to review the UI becomes essential. The beauty of today’s technology is that it is easy to test the UI in a controlled environment
- Reward the Customer’s Interactions
- Rewards should be earned across the ecosystem; payments, traditional banking services, opening of accounts, purchases are all triggers
- The ability to monetize rewards across the ecosystem for redemption and/or purchases
- This is the incentive that makes it easier for customers to engage with bank’s applications
- Supporting Campaigns / Offers / Promotions
- Adding value to the customer with relevant and timely offers across the system will be critical to meaningful engagement
- Location-based offers/promotions, combined with the location knowledge of the key entities will be important. This means that all companies in the ecosystem will need relevant GPS information to support this type of engagement
- The UI/UX experience will need to reflect this holistic approach to what is meaningful to the client
- With big data, immediate feedback from social listening tools, SDKs, cookies, and surveys will allow banks to determine the success of their promos. They can have reports quickly generated weekly allowing to quickly fine-tune and adjust the campaigns
- Leveraging Physical Locations
- While the focus is on the UI/UX experience, by extension, this experience should lead the customer to shared physical locations that can provide hands-on experience when it’s required
While there is a primary focus on retail customers, this approach also extends to corporate clients of the bank.The ability of the bank to extend the customer relationship to key corporate clients (or partners) adds both breadth & depth to the end customer relationship and target corporate requirements in order to capture their ecosystem of retail clients.