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Phygital banking: the perfect customer journey

Insights
6 Mins.

Context is always key. The pandemic changed the way we live, but it isn’t the only reason for banking’s current transformation. The winds of change were already blowing, but COVID-19 has accelerated the move toward a more digital future

Digital transformation has long pushed banking in a new direction: the payment world is becoming less hierarchical, more accessible, and easier to navigate. One example is personalization: previously, personalization was a service only available to the elite – now, technology is making personalized products viable to all consumers.

As the pandemic spanned the world, the global shift from physical banking to virtual banking became more noticeable. A McKinsey report from 2020 proffers the example of Australia, which has closed thousands of ATMs and hundreds of bank branches since the outbreak of the pandemic.1

Online Shopping Woman used Computer laptop searching Shop on E-commerce Website and using Smartphone to payment on Digital Payment online gateway by Credit card

Yet a solely digital presence isn’t always the right approach. There are certain situations in which physical touchpoints are not only preferred, but are make-or-break when it comes to winning over – and keeping – a customer.

Banks with digital-only branches often don’t have the reach that physical branches can offer. A physical bank branch presence promotes name recognition and fosters trust. In retail, for example, 82% of purchases are still made in retail stores.2 Even now, a physical presence, in some shape or form, is often the key to success.

By leveraging physical touchpoints in a customer journey, neobanks and fintechs can improve the brand experience, and make uncertain but critical customer touchpoints – such as those that have been outsourced – more trustworthy, reliable, and customer-focused.

And this is where the phygital approach comes in: banks can maximize the advantages of a real-world presence with digital capabilities.

Mapping out the CX journey

How do banks go about navigating customer journeys as our world becomes increasingly digital?

Competition in banking is fierce – fintechs are increasingly prevalent, and digital disruptors are enticing customers with new products and optimized, holistic CX journeys. Moreover, customer expectations are changing. Even pre-pandemic, almost three-quarters of customers wanted a seamless phygital banking blend.3 To flourish, banks must map out their customer journeys, from customer acquisition and card issuance, to provision of further products and services along the line.

Which customer service touchpoints are available and can be optimized? Which touchpoints would benefit from physical presence, and which are better served by digital experiences? With a holistic, multi-channel customer approach, banks have the right toolset to ensure long-term revenue growth.

With the white paper “Opportunities in the phygital landscape,” G+D took a deeper look at the phygital banking opportunities. Covering trends and strategies, the white paper offers insights on the rise of neobanks and what legacy banks can learn from their approach to the intuitive customer experience across multiple channels – as well as the potential to leverage big data to deepen customer relationships, and the importance of making the customer experience as seamless as possible.

“Customer behavior is changing, and the digital age has generated expectations of speed that customers now demand in every industry. Banks must focus on customer experience to set themselves apart in an increasingly competitive industry“
Quintin Stephen
G+D Director of Global Strategy

Cards on the table

Card issuance is a critical customer touchpoint. Some customers may prefer to visit a bank branch to activate a card, while others may desire to do so digitally. For banks, the challenge is sensing what a customer wants, and this comes through tracking interactions and harnessing customer data to generate learned behavior.

One of the simplest ways to meet banking customer expectations is through automation where possible: a smooth card issuance process that only involves the card owner when necessary, reducing friction and providing timely support if required.

With solutions such as Convego® Activate or Convego® Relate, issuers can communicate with customers via a range of preferred channels, providing valuable information in an integrated, digital manner.

G+D’s Convego® Instant Issuance Kiosk, on the other hand, is positioned right at the intersection of physical and digital – a self-service kiosk that allows customers to print their own cards – offering customers options that matter to them, shortening the time between customer acquisition and card issuance, and yet providing them with nearby experts inside the branch itself.

G+D’s suite of Convego® products has been designed with phygitality in mind: offering consumers flexibility, seamlessness, and an enhanced customer experience, with the ability to access support easily.

A multi-channel approach that connects the dots along the customer journey is key for winning over and keeping customers, and the provision of a holistic, ubiquitous customer journey creates long-lasting customer satisfaction.

Prioritizing seamless customer experience

A holistic customer journey has seamlessness at its core. It makes no sense for a customer to be using a mobile device, only to have to switch to a laptop to complete a card application. It is frustrating for everyone involved to have a customer interact with a chatbot only to have to visit the branch in person. A multi-channel, omni-channel best-practice approach can improve the customer experience along the entire CX journey.

Of course, phygital banking is just one facet of creating future-ready banks, and aspects such as increasing resilience and lowering operational costs come into play too, but as one Accenture report notes, “research suggests that technology challenges are impeding banks from achieving operational transformation.”4  By leveraging digital capabilities, banks have the potential to take customer experience to the next level.

  1. The 2020 McKinsey Global Payments Report, McKinsey & Company, 2020

  2. Worldwide ecommerce will approach $5 trillion this year, eMarketer, 2021

  3. Discover the patterns in personality, Accenture, 2019

  4. Elevate every decision with intelligent banking operations, Accenture, 2021

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