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Banking preferences are going digital

Posted by Sheera Eby on July 17, 2014

As technology continues to evolve, more and more services are provided to consumers online, including financial services. Over time, many consumers have come to prefer digital services to traditional banking options. In fact, recent studies have shown that a shift toward digital banking is imminent. For this reason, we believe financial institutions need to get on board with ensuring usage and adoption of digitally-based services if they hope to thrive in this ever-changing industry.



Here are some statistics that demonstrate this cosmic shift in consumer preferences.


1. More than 1 in 4 customers would consider switching to a digital bank.
According to Accenture's 2014 North America Consumer Digital Banking Survey, more than one in four customers would consider a branchless digital bank if they were to leave their current banking provider.1 This trend is most prevalent among younger consumers. It isn’t that consumers are completely opposed to traditional banking; these statistics indicate the growing adoption of online and mobile payments as well as banking is going to be a necessity in attracting and retaining banking consumers.


2. Over 50% want more from their bank.
Accenture's survey also reports that more than half of customers wish their bank would provide financial advice, including the proactive recommendation of products of services that may meet the consumer's needs.1 Many of the consumers who expressed an interest in a deeper relationship with their bank also indicated that they would be more loyal if such services were provided.

Fostering a sense of loyalty is a top priority for many bank marketing teams, and is essential to keeping customers' business, especially when so many other options are available. To retain consumers, financial institutions need to offer consumers as much value as possible. Content marketing can be a vehicle to bridge customer desires for financial advice without one-on-one consultation.


3. Almost 75% have "transactional" banking relationships.
In spite of consumers' desires for a broader relationship, Accenture's 2014 North America Consumer Digital Banking Survey reports that almost 75% of customers in the United States view their current banking relationship as transactional only.1 If you aren't offering consumers valuable extras, such as guidance on how to maximize their usage of online and mobile banking and payments, as well as other financial related information, your customer relationships may be too shallow. To deepen these relationships, consider a tailored email program targeting users based on behavior.


4. Consumers would bank with PayPal if they could.
Another of the startling facts surrounding banking trends indicates that if PayPal decides to add banking, other financial institutions may be in trouble.1 In fact, 41% of consumers said that they would be likely to bank with PayPal if the option were available. This statistic may be startling to many bank marketing teams, and demonstrates the overarching views of consumers: Convenience is essential and mobile payments are the future. Be sure your financial institution is aggressively trying to grow adoption of mobile banking and payments through the use of content marketing.


5. Mobile wallets are on the rise.
According to MobilePaymentsToday, there will be more than 1 billion consumers using mobile payments by 2015. MobilePaymentsToday also reports that mobile payment transactions in 2015 will exceed $1 trillion worldwide. As these mobile payments continue to become more popular, traditional banks that don't offer mobile options will suffer. Banks that offer both traditional and digital banking services, on the other hand, can compete against giants like PayPal moving forward.

So what should financial institutions do? The statistics don't lie. Consumers are moving rapidly toward digital, online and mobile banking and payments. In order to retain current customers and attract new ones, your institution needs to aggressively grow adoption of these services. However, simply offering these payment options to consumers is not enough. Financial institutions must also encourage customers to adopt and utilize these services before they find it elsewhere.


Jacobs & Clevenger has experience in developing adoption programs to help financial institutions increase mobile and online payments. In fact, a recent campaign we developed for the online bill pay provider iPay Solutions successfully educated customers and facilitated the adoption for more than 3,600 different financial institutions. Growing adoption is key to securing your position as customers' default payment provider.




Topics: Financial Services

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