To match customers’ digital expectations, banks are making substantial improvements to their user experience (UX) design to offer a more seamless and intuitive customer experience. Banks’ digital product distribution strategies are front of mind for banking leaders who acknowledge, that to sustain current digital adoption rates, they must improve the appeal and ease of banking online.
Banks are aware that to successfully align with all of their customers’ preferences and expectations, they must provide a balance between digital and human interaction. COVID-19 has forced customers to change how they bank. But, to maintain customer satisfaction levels across the board, banks must consider that some customers may want to return to traditional services, where they expect or prefer a higher degree of human support. “It’s not just a question of automating processes to drive banks’ cost transformation agendas; it’s about looking at sustained digital adoption,” says Dai Bedford, EY Global Banking & Capital Markets Consulting Leader.
For example, in April 2020, Lloyds Banking Group decided to equip up to 2,000 customers over the age of 70 with free tablet devices, and set up a dedicated phone line to provide training and support to help vulnerable customers access online banking.²
To go further in achieving this balance, banks should consider integrating customers’ financial well-being into their cost transformation programs. Increasingly, customers’ use of digital banking products and services will align to other aspects of their lives, such as health and wellness, enabling a whole new industry that revolves around ecosystem partnerships. A broader set of products and services may even drive the adoption of some subscription-based models in banking.
Our long-held belief that subscription models in banking would become a reality is now gaining traction. Banks are experiencing an acceleration to membership models as a direct result of COVID-19. Our latest research draws on emotional connection data, which shows that, to truly connect with and gain the trust of customers in a fully digital world, banks must evolve in a similar fashion to e-commerce giants. By adopting the best of their practices and customer-centric solutions, banks can build out a set of fully connected ecosystem experiences and value propositions for their customers.
Indeed, our Index found that over a quarter of respondents said they would be willing to pay a premium for products that promote well-being. Overall, banks that drive their cost transformation programs in a customer-centric way will be the ones that succeed in permanently shifting how customers’ banking needs are met and fulfilled.