Young woman sitting at beach at night, looking at her mobile phone
#Payment Technology

The bank is where the customer is

Global Trends
5 Mins.

Depending on their location, cardholders have very different expectations of their bank. Yet wherever they are, they require secure, user-friendly solutions and fast response times. The pandemic has changed the way we behave, fiscally: digital banking accelerated, people started to save more, sustainability went mainstream, and remote work became the norm.

It’s still something of a mystery as to what pandemic-inspired behavioral changes are here to stay, but studies reveal some trends. Banking app use has increased, with 50% of consumers using an online banking app or website at least once a week, up from 32% in 2018.1 At the same time, trust in banks has declined.2 In 2018, 51% of consumers trusted banks with data, compared with 37% in 2020. And one study shows that physical bank branches are still very much in demand, despite increased global digitalization.3

There’s a lot to consider. Cardholders want to embrace a digital experience while being able to visit a branch. They want a holistic user experience that means being able to access their account securely and easily wherever they are. Success in banking today means more than creating customer-friendly branches. It means adopting a dynamic phygital strategy while staying cost-effective. How can that mix be achieved?

Online banking from the comfort of our homes

Statistics show that customer requirements at home focus on experience. For example, “96% of banks see customer experience as a top priority in transformation projects, and 61% of customers want an easy onboarding to online banking services.” 

Customers want to be able to speak to an advisor from wherever they are. It’s not just a banking trend – one recent survey noted that the omnichannel approach is key post-COVID-19 in retail too.4 Pre-pandemic, 85% of customers hadn’t spoken to a bank advisor via video call, but now almost half are prepared to do so to access information – and 35% would prefer video calls to face-to-face meetings.5 It’s a trend that looks set to continue.

With customer service a priority, the development of user-friendly mobile apps is key. Mike Lazaridis, founder of Blackberry, first coined the term “super apps” in 2010. Nowadays, surveys point to a growing preference for super apps for customers’ banking requirements.6 Digital banking app Revolut is one such app; its founder is currently worth over $7 billion.7

“A super app is the kind of app that people love and use every day, because it offers such a seamless, integrated, contextualized, and efficient experience.“
Mike Lazaridis
Founder of Blackberry

One thing is clear: customers want simplicity. Activating a new card remotely should be a quick and easy process, one that can be completed while watching TV. G+D’s Convego® Activate takes this consumer demand into account, making card activation both frictionless and secure.

Yet tools alone – or great design alone – do not ensure a great customer journey. UX is increasingly important: the entire customer journey must be considered, including user scenarios that cover various angles and various target groups.

Banking security when traveling

Young woman looking at her mobile phone at a camping site, sum-merly surrounding

Post-pandemic, travel is picking up again – and customer expectations have developed, with customers used to accessing services digitally, quickly, and easily. Back in 2007, “The Guardian” advised you to upgrade your phone for a new-fangled “Wi-Fi-enabled smartphone” to be able to access online banking securely, to avoid having to take a laptop on holiday to use online banking.8 Nowadays, we’re all used to accessing banking services via smartphones, but security risks remain, when using public, unencrypted Wi-Fi or insecure Bluetooth connections.

One academic study underlined the importance of perceived security in banking app adoption, and banking security and user convenience must not be trade-offs.9 Solutions that combine user-friendliness with security will serve to reinforce customer trust. Biometric payment cards, for example, are one such solution, complementing ongoing global trends such as contactless payment.

And of course, when things go wrong abroad and you need financial assistance, banks should be on hand to provide that human touch. Sometimes you just need to hear a human voice to understand that the issue has been registered.

The perfect user journey

Designing a great digital interface to maximize user experience must take various factors into account – not just a customer’s location, but demographics, specific financial demands, and the importance of combining all of that with a physical presence to ensure trust.

  1. 2020 Accenture Global Banking Consumer Study, Accenture, 2020

  2. 2020 Accenture Global Banking Consumer Study, Accenture, 2020

  3. Digitalisation of banking: Will the move to online banking continue after the COVID-19 pandemic?, Deloitte, 2020

  4. The five zeros reshaping stores, McKinsey, 2022

  5. 2020 Accenture Global Banking Consumer Study, Accenture, 2020

  6. How can banks transform for a new generation of customers, EY, 2021

  7. As Revolut becomes U.K.’s most valuable fintech, its founder is now worth $7 billion, Forbes, 2021

  8. What’s the safest way to use internet banking abroad?, The Guardian, 2007

  9. A Comparative Study of Users versus Non-Users’ Behavioral Intention towards M-Banking Apps’ Adoption, MDPI, 2022

Published: 21/04/2022

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