Banks tend to play it safe when it comes to adopting new technology to communicate with their customers. When you consider the sensitivity of their data it’s no surprise that financial institutions are cautious when introducing new communication channels to their customers. However, as JD Power observed in its 2017 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, “[Customers] want to choose when, where, and how they conduct their banking, and banks must continue to meet that need by offering consistent, tailored experiences regardless of the channel.” This means that now more than ever, banks and financial institutions need to offer myriad communication options for their customers to support this desire for choice while continuing to keep their information secure.
Here are three popular communication channels that have been adopted by banks to support customers’ desire for choice:
Recently many banks have introduced Virtual Assistants to their online banking offering as a means of communicating with and helping customers. For instance, in June Bank of America released their AI-driven chatbot named Erica. Think Siri but instead of providing directions to the nearest Starbucks, Erica can help you search your transactions, check your account balance, and locate your routing number. Handling your finances can be stressful and reading through banks’ FAQs to find answers to your pressing money questions can only make it worse. Whether it’s Bank of America’s Erica, Ally Bank’s Ally Assist or HSBC’s Amy, virtual assistants on finance and banking apps open an easy and direct line of communication with customers that feels personable though powered by AI.
Streamlined Peer-to-Peer Mobile Payment
With the rise of apps like Venmo and Cash App it’s important for banks to remain on the cutting edge of peer-to-peer mobile payment. Enter: Zelle, Banks’ competitor to the leading mobile payment apps. Zelle allows users to exchange funds with ease enabling customers to effortlessly communicate payment requests to one another directly through their product. This seamless integration alleviates the stress of sending large lump sums of money over the internet by creating a communication channel directly within their product. And while we’ll always love Venmo’s social feed that allows you to see just who is brunching with who, Zelle offers the privacy and security we want when sending and receiving sensitive payments.
Email isn’t a new method of communication for banks, however, it is one that requires constant upkeep and management. Whether it’s a transactional email regarding a customer’s specific account or an email marketing blast delivered to hundreds of thousands of people, messages from financial institutions need to be on time and secure. Many financial institutions have been able to achieve this by migrating from physical data centers to the cloud. Not only does the cloud allow for greater scalability but also helps ensure greater levels of cybersecurity. As email continues to prevail as one of the leading ways companies (financial or otherwise) communicate with their customers it’s important that financial institutions continue to evaluate the technological infrastructure of their email delivery.
For an industry that tends to play it safe when adopting new technology, these three methods of communication have made it easier for financial services to provide a richer and more satisfying customer experience.