Having a “frictionless” user experience (UX) is among the top three qualities that bank customers look for when picking a new bank, right after “security” and “trustworthiness,” according to a new report by financial technology provider, FIS.
The results came from a report released on Tuesday, titled “The 2019 Performance Against Customer Expectations,” which asked 1,700 U.S. consumers of all ages to rank the expectations they have of their prospective banks.
“The battleground for winning and keeping today’s banking consumers is in the front lines of customer experience,” said Bruce Lowthers, co-chief operating officer, FIS, in a statement emailed to Bank Innovation. “While security and trustworthiness continue to be critical attributes, more consumers are choosing their banking providers on the basis of a convenient, frictionless digital experience. For banks and credit unions of all sizes, these survey results reinforce the importance of modernizing every touch point of their customer journeys.”
The report also shows that digital-first banks performed better than the top 50 largest banks in the country when it comes to providing a positive digital experience, as well as a seamless transition between different banking channels, such as desktop to mobile. This translated into customers ranking digital banks higher in the customer satisfaction category. According to the survey, 63% of direct bank customers report being “extremely satisfied” with their banks, in comparison to only 19% of top 50 global bank customers who said they were “extremely satisfied” with their FI.
UX, on the other hand, is closely tied to personalization. The degree of personalization is key to retaining customers as well as procuring new ones, according to the report. This is one reason digital banks ranked high on the customer satisfaction category. Thanks to features grounded in artificial intelligence and machine learning, digital banks are able to provide customers a higher level of personalization than a physical branch, the study finds.
Larger banks are waking up to the benefits of providing such products and services tailored to the customers’ specific needs. Bank of America, for instance, started providing spending insights and goal-setting features through its virtual assistant, “Erica,” while Capital One‘s virtual assistant, “Eno,” flags potentially fraudulent charges by texting customers and even reminds them of overdue bills, among other things.
“Mobile adoption has plateaued, and 73% of all consumer interactions with banks are done digitally,” the report read. “Digital banking is no longer a trend. It is the way. Digital self-service is now key to customer satisfaction, especially for younger consumers.”
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