In the previous blogs in this series, I looked at findings from the Accenture Financial Services 2017 Global Distribution and Marketing Consumer Study: Banking Report that identify changes in consumer attitudes and behavior and the emergence of new consumer personas.

We see five important strategic considerations for banks as they respond to these changes:

  1. Let Customers Define Their Experience.  Consumers are seeking speed and convenience as well as tailored advice, and they want it all on their own terms. Advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies are opening the door for banks to provide effective automated support as an additional route to building loyalty.
  2. Re-Write Customer Processes for the Digital Era.  Banks will need to establish new customer processes to deliver the digital service customers want, and to enable effective digital distribution of their products. For example, as banks get hold of more consumer data, they will want to offer real-time access to targeted products, such as loans or new accounts, on their own website or via third-party platforms. Potential customers will be turned off if, mid-way through the process, they are cut off until presenting formal ID at a branch, so enhanced digital identification techniques will need to be implemented.
  3. Get API-Enabled.  As they seek to multiply their interactions with customers, banks will need to think about products or services delivered through application program interfaces (APIs) that can be accessed and sold outside of the bank’s boundaries, but with the assurance provided by the bank’s ability to validate the identity and creditworthiness of all parties involved. For example, customer appetite for banks’ assistance with major purchases, such as a car or house, creates an opportunity to provide dedicated portals for these needs, with a suite of tailored products that could be offered to address them.
  4. Tailor Branches to Add Value. The branch is still an important part of the banking experience for many consumers, but its role need not be the same for all customer groups. For instance, the majority of basic transactions can now be delivered online, without the need to visit a branch, and the Nomads would be perfectly comfortable with this. Nomads might be prepared to visit a branch to speak with a mortgage advisor, but would rather make a transfer on-the-go via their mobile device.
  5. Win the Data Game.  Banks will need to access more customer data to offer more competitive prices and faster, easier services, and to offer products that are relevant to customers’ financial needs. This is particularly important for Hunters, the most price-conscious persona; 83 percent of Hunters say they search for the best deal on price. This emerging data-driven relationship between bank and customer can also open a fresh opportunity for the bank to deepen customer trust by acting as a trusted steward of security.

Clearly, banks have their work cut out for them as they seek to understand changing consumer attitudes and behaviors and develop strategic responses to gain share and build loyalty.  Please get in touch if you’d like to review or discuss the study data in more detail.