Snippet: The digitalization of banking has reached an inflection point, with Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella saying he’s “seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.”

The digitalization of banking has reached an inflection point, with Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella saying he’s “seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.”

When the world went into COVID-19 quarantine, digital banking services saw unprecedented adoption. According to The Wall Street Journal, 45% of customers now use their mobile banking app more frequently for standard banking activities like depositing checks, rather than going to a branch or using an ATM. As a result, footfall at branches and ATMs has dropped more than 30% during lockdown versus the same period last year, and is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels even after lockdown restrictions have been lifted. Many banks are now debating afresh how many physical branches they actually need. 

With this shift in consumer behavior, banks that will continue to grow their customer base and revenue are focusing closely on their customers’ needs and motivations. To win in this digital era, they must perfect their offering in three key areas: new account opening, simplified payments, and trusted security.

Maximizing the impact of your customers’ journey with you creates a strong competitive advantage. Our blog post Personalized customer experience from within your banking app discusses how.

Account onboarding

Creating simple yet delightful app experiences hasn’t always been easy for financial institutions. Historically, digital account opening – or onboarding – has been fraught with friction, complex user journeys, and low approval rates, effectively keeping many new customers away.

With the advent of new identity proofing and document verification technology, banks have been able to streamline the process, with varying degrees of success. Built for Mars recently compared the onboarding process of 12 banks to evaluate the best user experience. The winners, including Monzo and Revolut, allowed consumers to open an account with their mobile banking apps, and used technology such as digital identity verification to secure and streamline experiences. The winners minimized both the number of taps and amount of data needed to open an account. Once an account was opened, new customers could immediately provision their payment credentials to third-party wallets, such as Apple Pay, giving them instant transaction ability. reported a 14.5% increase in online account opening since social distancing began – and this is only the beginning. Many of these were holdouts unconvinced of mobile banking’s value or security; some are looking to do more through the phone than is possible with their current bank. To capitalize on the influx of new customers, all banks need to get the onboarding experience right.

Simplified payments

When making payments, consumers don’t want to know about the technicalities; they just want it to work and they want it to work now. And once inside the banking app, users don’t want to think about whether they need to select bill pay, eBill, P2P, or account transfer; they simply want to specify who, how much, and when.

Winning banks simplify the payment experience for their customers by incorporating all payment options into one interface. The transaction is invisibly routed to the right payment rail behind the scenes. And for instant gratification, innovative banks are also implementing real-time payments so that consumers can transfer funds immediately.

The COVID era has pushed contactless payments into the limelight, catching some banks unawares. Their rise in popularity – Mastercard saw a 40% increase during the first quarter – lies in the fact that consumers perceive them to be a safer way to pay compared to other methods. Forward-thinking banks have incorporated QR code payments into their apps and facilitated instant issuance to third-parties to stay top of wallet.

Trusted security

Maintaining consumer trust has been a complex undertaking in the digital space —in part because of the need to deliver simple, intuitive user experiences. Understanding that security and convenience are not mutually exclusive, the leading banking apps use mobile security and authentication solutions built with the user front of mind.

When paired with a digital onboarding solution, technology like this binds a user’s identity to their device, giving the bank confidence that the user is who they say they are in future interactions. With this level of trust ensured, the bank can either seamlessly authenticate transactions or enable low-friction step-up authentication for those that are more risky. The continued – and visible when necessary – protection further solidifies consumer trust.

By building winning experiences on top of a flexible, secure platform, banks can continuously innovate their apps by incorporating the features that matter most to their consumers.

Smart messaging gives banks the opportunity to maximize the potential of their banking apps and immerse their customers in an experience where they feel secure enough to be the drivers of their own financial journeys. If you want to know more about our smart messaging solution or further use cases, you can contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Alpa Somaiya


From science to health research to fintech, Alpa is a self-confessed jack-of-a-few trades. When not despairing about the use of the Oxford comma, she enthusiastically collates, translates and disseminates information for your reading pleasure, and with the hope that we all learn a little something along the way.

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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.