Snippet: Fierce competition in banking shows no signs of abating, but while cost-cutting and consolidation have characterized the industry for decades, a lot has changed in recent years, especially with the disruptive entrance of the social, retail, and technology giants. It’s not so much what you offer anymore; the game changer is how you make your offering available.

Fierce competition in banking shows no signs of abating, but while cost-cutting and consolidation have characterized the industry for decades, a lot has changed in recent years, especially with the disruptive entrance of the social, retail, and technology giants. It’s not so much what you offer anymore; the game changer is how you make your offering available.

To come out ahead in the next few years, financial institutions must go beyond simply “doing digital” and focus on the actual customer needs and preferences that self-service channels were intended to meet. They must also communicate the value they can deliver through a more intelligent approach to technology and user experience design.

Building trust with your consumers takes hard work and time, but with their trust, you’ll have customers for life. Read: Five things to inspire customer trust

Stepping into the role of trusted advisor

Curiously, in the age of spam and robocalls, consumers complain that their banks don’t do enough to inform them of relevant products and services. Many people even express doubt about institutions’ commitment or ability to assist in financial decision making and, ultimately, improve their bottom lines.

Analysts see banks’ slow progress owning the role of trusted financial advisor as a serious missed opportunity. After all, traditional banks continue to score highly with consumers on trust and the security of their data, which is a necessary ingredient for a winning set of services promoting financial wellness. Data will help locate customers’ concerns and pain points, reveal the routes users typically take to complete tasks or make decisions, and improve the relevance and quality of their recommendations.

Some readers may have received notices from their bank that go something like this: “You have spent 30 percent more this year on entertainment than you did last year.” Although well-meaning, these messages are not terribly useful sent in isolation and without context. What if your bank coupled this insight into changing spending patterns with other data and diplomatically nudged you towards a savings vehicle, perhaps with a HD flat screen TV as a potential prize for early registrations?

This example may skate close to a sales pitch, I know, but imagine this communication taking place in-app with a call to action linking directly to a budgeting tool. That small addition might complete the experience in a satisfactory way.

By providing the accountholder with a fuller picture of their financial position and a direct route to the tools they need to make changes, the institution signals that it takes their financial wellbeing seriously; that it is expanding its role from mere deposit taker to trusted advisor; and it invites them to engage more often on financial matters great and small.

It takes two to start a conversation

Adverts and marketing messages have their place, but their formats don’t lend themselves to these more immediate interventions. They skew towards a different order of product, one that kickstarts a new chapter in life: mortgage, retirement annuity, student loan.

However jaunty the copywriting and light the design, they also feel different. They are less an extension of the moment than a break in it; less about grasping an opportunity and more about a making a commitment; less about me, more about you. 

In-app communications specialist Twilio has found that 89 percent of consumers want to interact with businesses using messaging services, broadly defined, with two-thirds preferring the mobile for that purpose. Eighty-five percent say they would like to reply to these messages or engage in conversations from that point. 

That’s a markedly different experience to SMS or noreply emails. The key words here are “interact”, “reply”, and “engage”. Consumers want a two-way communication channel that supports timely exchanges on matters that are important to them. It’s the difference between a welcome interaction and an annoying distraction.

Secure in-app messaging

Digitally engaged banking customers sign on to more services, bring in more revenue, and are more likely to recommend their banks to friends and family, and the effect is strongest on mobile. A survey by Citi found that users of mobile banking felt better informed about their banks’ offerings and were more confident about their financial position than non-users did. 

Citi says this resulted in, “a more optimistic view that banks can help to better understand their financial situation, with 82 percent of mobile banking users feeling confident that a bank can truly help improve their state of financial wellness, compared to 62 percent of non-users.”

Nothing beats the mobile for a reliable, highly personal channel to the customer, one that cuts through the noise of daily life, can be securely accessed everywhere, and integrates seamlessly with self-service functionality in the banking app. 

Entersekt’s digital security and authentication platform protects sensitive transactions initiated on all banking channels, and financial institutions on three continents have integrated our software development kit into their apps for this purpose.

We now offer a mobile push-based smart messaging solution leveraging this infrastructure, so that our customers can deliver helpful prompts and actionable advice to users wherever they are. Highly visible and guaranteed to come from a trusted provider, they can improve engagement rates dramatically.

For immediate attention, our calls to action also provide convenient shortcuts to relevant app functions, so it is easier for users to make small changes on the fly that could bring big rewards over time. 

The solution also provides auditable, digitally signed records of all interactions; and helps meet PSD2, GDPR, CCPA, and MiFID requirements without introducing additional friction.

If you want to know more, download our smart messaging solution sheet or contact us to book a demo today!

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Smart messaging solution sheet

Simon Rodway

VP: Customer Delivery

Simon Rodway is an experienced software solutions designer and architect who supports Entersekt’s solutions teams in delivering best-in-class services for our clients. His expertise and knowledge take Entersekt’s solutions from strength to strength across the world. His extensive global experience in the information technology and software development industries ensures a refined industry perspective in growing Entersekt’s presence across the world.

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Entersekt is an innovator of customer-centric fintech solutions. Financial services providers and other enterprises rely on our patented mobile identity system to provide both security and the best in convenient new digital experiences to their customers, irrespective of the service channel. With us, they can concentrate on their innovation roadmap, while delivering intuitive, low-friction digital experiences to their customers.