Canadian Retail Banking Survey 2013

Changing channels on the customer

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Canadians prefer to seek advice and obtain products in person at bank branches more than any other channel, especially when it comes to big decisions such as mortgages and other largepurchase financing.

In addition, customers prefer selecting chequing, savings or other deposit accounts in person.

EY - Seeking advice, Obtaining products

While the branch is still the dominant channel when it comes to seeking advice and obtaining products, the emergence of new self-service online and mobile channels requires careful integration if banks want to create differentiated customer experiences.

Customers are looking for innovations that make banking more convenient. Banks have an opportunity to capitalize on this and differentiate themselves in the market through offerings such as the “digital wallet” — the capability to conduct transactions electronically.

Two-thirds (67%) of respondents between the ages of 18 and 44 who own a smartphone are interested in using a digital wallet. The majority (88%) of respondents in this age bracket currently own a smartphone.

EY - How often do you use the following types of social media?

The emergence of new self-service channels will force banks to rethink how customers purchase their products.

Canada has one of the highest rates of penetration of social networks around the globe. But while Canadians are highly engaged in social media, financial institutions struggle with how they can engage their customers in a conversation. According to our research, 43% of respondents — most of them 45 years old and up — do not want to have any interactions with their main bank through social media.

Customers look for a seamless cross-channel experience. Nearly half (47%) of respondents would switch to another financial institution if it offered the ability to start product purchases in one channel and complete them in another.

By leveraging customer data across channels, financial institutions will be able to design and provide a fully integrated experience. Careful design of cross-channel customer experience may not only lead to more convenient banking and a way to differentiate banking advice and service offerings. It may also lead to a significant reduction in the cost to serve by driving customers to lower-cost channels for basic service transactions, while refocusing the branch network on more revenue-generating activities.