According to research by PwC, trust in financial services has been eroded – fewer than one in three consumers trust their bank. This comes as the general perception of overpaid financial services executives; the feeling that policies and regulatory responses have yet to deliver real change; and the absence of other remedies for customers to resort to. Yet, how can financial services operators build trust in this digital age?
Take Banca Carige, an Italian retail bank, for example: their digital branches are equipped with remote banking workstations, where customers can access all the services of the bank in self-service mode and via remote assistance, including transaction/cash payments, sales activities, and advisory services.
Customers can manage multiple bank accounts (linked or not to the card you are using) and carry out advanced transactions, cash and coin payments and deposits. For instance, paying bills or taxes by scanning the document. They can also buy products, receive cards in instant issuing or open a bank account if they are prospects. By centralising staff, the bank managed to focus employees on more valuable and complex activities such as advisory and financial services that require the added value of human interaction.
Banks should highlight the importance of facilitating relationships with customers. For example, by removing glass screens from teller counters and remodelling branches into welcoming spaces, where customer can carry out transactions at self-service terminals or discuss their more complex banking needs one-to-one with staff.
In order to build trust, the customer must be at the centre of digital plans
Adopting a customer-centric perspective, managing the relationship in an integrated and omnichannel way and creating seamless and personalised customer experience in banking becomes a must for establishing new customer relationship models while optimising costs. Technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are making personalisation at scale possible.
Another factor to consider is enhancing security. The irreversible exchange of digital and physical channels, together with the use of advanced technologies and a massive increase in remote operations, is increasing the number of devices used to connect with the bank (ATMs, assisted self-service terminals, PCs, mobiles, etc). This makes critical infrastructures more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Banks therefore need a protected, secure, and resilient infrastructure.
They should make their identification mechanisms more rigorous by alternating biometrics with tokenisation to make the experience more secure and as a result increase the level of confidence in customer security. It is important that banks do everything they can to acquire strengthened cybersecurity systems so that they can prevent and address risks and live attacks more effectively.
Branch designs need to take into consideration the personal consultation aspect that caters to needs. Likewise, video banking can be used within branches to increase access to financial services and assistance for customers who need help with self-service products and technology whenever they want.
The way forward
In order to remain competitive and gain customers’ trust, investing in targeted digital strategies and leveraging data as effectively as possible is the next step to better understand customers. This also helps banks to ensure a personalised experience and, consequently, create value propositions that enhance digital trust.
The application of AI models to banking processes can help analyse user behaviour, improve existing services and products, or create new ones and improve banking customer experiences. For traditional banks, it is not just a question of investing in digital transformation but also to value the impact on customers’ behaviours, their loyalty and profitability. This is achieved by offering an alternative to traditional branches that they can appreciate and represents value for them.
Otherwise, it is a surrender to native digital banks and smart banking, which are often better provided by new entrants than it usually, is by legacy banks.