Customer experience innovation is table stakes for banks

Customer experience innovation is table stakes for banks

Banking & Financial


From AI to robo-advisors, customers demand innovation.

Amid a time of unprecedented competition from fintech disruptors such as Acorns, Mogo, Ripple, and Kabbage, data from the American Bankers Association shows an astounding 86% of Americans are “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with their primary banking provider.

That’s the good news. The bad news – if we can call it that – is that competition will only intensify over the coming months and years.

From adjusting the temperature at home via your mobile device, to hailing a ride home, technology has changed the way we go about our day-to-day lives.

The financial industry is no exception, and customers, frankly speaking, want their cake to eat it, too.

Customer experience is often the deciding factor in choosing where to bank. Consumers are looking for personalized interactions, simplified banking and access to their accounts through various mobile devices. It stands to reason then that banks must continuously innovate and anticipate customers' needs to maintain market share, let alone a competitive advantage.

Bank of America is among the institutions leading the tech revolution. The bank’s AI-driven virtual financial assistant Erica has surpassed 3.6 million users, who have completed more than 12 million requests.

Meanwhile, e-commerce behemoth Amazon’s Alexa reportedly executed the opening of 529 wealth management accounts in minutes, asking all the same questions a human advisor would demand of a client. In fact, it is AI’s ever-increasing role in wealth management that is one of the primary factors driving the development of financial planning technology.

TD recently announced plans to increase the percentage of customers utilizing self-serve options from 81% to 90% over the next three years. Among the bank’s plans to make customers more self-sufficient are a revamped mobile banking app that, in addition to the usual slate of features, will serve information relevant to a client’s interests, combined with technological advances made by the bank’s acquisition of AI firm Layer 6.

BBVA's app, Bconomy, helps customers set goals, save money and track their progress, while BMO Harris Bank opened a Smart Branch to combine features of interactive technology and human advice.

The use of robots at HSBC Bank's flagship branch in New York City improved customer service without the loss of jobs often associated with automation and AI, Jeremy Balkin, the bank's head of innovation, said. Average daily foot traffic increased an estimated five times since the addition of two customer service focused human-like robots programed to greet customers and educate them about HSBC products. The robots are outfitted with tablets and use natural language processing to understand the intent behind a customer's voice-based requests. Customers can ask the robots, which SoftBank has nicknamed Pepper, for information related to about 300 actions such as opening a new account, applying for a new credit card and accessing the mobile app, among other requests.

Can your organization afford to be left behind in an era of such rapid change? Or Do you want to be at the forefront of the latest technological trends and industry developments? Banks and other financial institutions cannot ignore monitoring competitor (including new entrants and disruptors), product, and technological innovations as part of a successful market intelligence program.
Connect with us on LinkedIn for more updates about wealth management and the wider market intelligence industry.

Ken monitors a number of different areas for the financial industry, including trends and acquisitions in wealth management, as well as how technology is helping reshape the industry. He also tracks news and developments pertaining to the advancement of women in the workplace.

Ken Kelley

Senior Editor