Forbes – How financial brands perceive digital banking can have a massive impact on the user experience (UX) they provide and their resulting success in the market. In particular, there are two main approaches to viewing digital banking: as a channel or as a product.
One of the main differences between perceiving digital banking as a channel or as a product is how it is integrated into your overall business strategy. When it is perceived as a channel, digital banking is treated as an added feature or an afterthought rather than a core component of the business. As a result, such financial companies often allocate fewer funds and experts to their digital offerings, leading to a poor user experience for customers.
On the other hand, when financial companies perceive digital as a product, they treat it more appropriately as a critical component of operations. It receives the necessary resources to ensure that it is constantly improving and providing the best possible user experience. Overall, customers do not perceive the bank as a range of separate services; they form a general perception of the financial solution using a mobile application, desktop or ATM.
So, let’s take a look at ten areas where financial institutions look to offer their digital services as a product rather than a channel:
Digital banking is often given a lower or similar priority as other business items. Many institutions invest once and then use the same platform and system for many years without improvement. If it becomes a top priority in the financial company’s strategy, daily efforts can improve the user experience for customers.
Many banks or financial companies tend to invest less in digital design and development, simply using it to deliver existing services. This can lead to a poor user experience and a lack of innovation. When a financial institution invests in digital improvement and advancement, this can lead to a better user experience and a competitive advantage. You should include the following when investing in digital design and development: state-of-the-art technology, top talent and research.
Digital offerings are often treated as marketing-related with a focus on performing communication with customers. This can lead to a lack of focus and coordination, making it difficult for financial brands to deliver a consistent and seamless user experience across all services. When digital is integrated into the core of your operations, it ensures that all teams work together toward a common goal of delivering a comprehensive and user-friendly experience. This goes beyond transactions and addresses the full range of customer needs.
Digital is often viewed as a “necessary evil” to replicate existing services in an online format rather than as an opportunity for innovation and market differentiation. This mindset can make it difficult for you to stay ahead of the curve and deliver unique and brand-related digital experiences. When you treat this aspect more as a product, your company is more likely to invest in innovation. I encourage you to make regular product updates and take risks that can provide customers with a unique and valuable digital solution.
5. Customer Satisfaction
When user experience is an afterthought, customers are often left with clunky, outdated digital services that are difficult to navigate and result in frustration. A product mindset drives financial brands to hear their customers and conduct research in order to meet their needs. Look for ways to design seamless and intuitive digital services that can create satisfied customers and better business results.
6. Employee Engagement
Key executives and other employees may not be as engaged in the development and improvement of digital services. This lack of ownership and accountability makes it difficult for banks and financial companies to design and deliver a high-quality digital experience. Find ways to make sure employees are focused on product goals and your overall mission. When they are invested in its success, they are also more motivated to contribute to its development and improvement.
7. Cross-Functional Collaboration
Related to focus, digital is often perceived as a part of a marketing activity that is siloed from other areas of your financial company. This can lead to a lack of collaboration and coordination, making it difficult to deliver a seamless and integrated user experience. Your digital product should be integrated into the core of business operations, requiring cross-functional teams with representatives from different departments and stakeholders working together and collaborating on developing digital offerings. This ultimately puts customers at the center.
8. Decision Making
I see how too many financial companies do not collect and analyze data on customer usage, behavior, needs, patterns, pain points and feedback. This makes it difficult to make informed decisions about digital offerings. Acess and organize your user data to drive decision-making and enable a more personalized and tailored experience.
If your company sees digital as something that requires you to invent a completely new service in order to differentiate yourself then it can be difficult to stand out in the market with your core service. While innovation is important, your financial brand should be more focused on delivering faster, more engaging and enriched experiences. This focus more effectively differentiates you from competitors.
10. Market Leadership
It is difficult for you to become a leader in the modern financial industry (currently driven by digital disruption) if you do not view digital as the main market in which to compete. A product-driven financial company is more likely to invest in the unique design and development of its digital ecosystem, enabling its brand to stay ahead of the curve and set the standard for the industry.
By treating digital as a core product, financial companies can provide their customers with the best digital experience. This, in turn, leads to increased customer satisfaction and improved business results to stay ahead of the competition and set the standard for the future of the industry.