Mobile banking is on the rise in Canada. According to the Canadian Bankers Association, the number of mobile banking transactions completed with the big six Canadian banks in 2017 reach 398 million, and 68 percent of Canadians claim they do most of their banking digitally using online and mobile banking. Furthermore, 32 percent of retail bank customers identified themselves as “digital-only” customers, opting to do their banking online or via mobile without visiting a branch.
The Canadian banking industry is taking steps to meet customer demand and adapt to changing consumer behaviour. Digital transformation programs, a greater focus on mobile, and investments in technology are on the rise. Yet, there is still a lot of work to be done to provide the kind of seamless mobile banking experiences that Canadian consumers want. According to the J.D. Power 2018 Canadian Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, Canadian banks have made significant progress toward digitization, but there is a growing digital divide within customers segments, which is affecting customer satisfaction and engagement.
Build Customer-Focused Products
Mobile banking and digital services offer a great opportunity for banks to reduce operational costs, but they should always be designed with a consumer-first mindset. To ship products that put the customer first, you need to truly understand who your end users are.
On a general level, customers in Canada are more self-service-oriented than their American counterparts, meaning mobile and digital present tremendous opportunity to engage with customers while also reducing costs. Additionally, the Millennial demographic is far more likely to use mobile banking regularly, with 77 percent using mobile banking features like checking balances and making payments over the past three months. Despite this, banks aren’t doing a great job of leveraging mobile and digital platforms to engage with customers using their preferred channels. For example, banks still rely heavily on phone calls for proactive communication, while both digital-centric and branch-dependent customers show a clear preference for other forms of communication.
Focusing on the end customer means building products that add value to them, address their pain points, and make their lives easier. While demographics is a big part of the picture, the development of user personas, user research, and product definition are integral to making sure you are building the right product for your users. Conducting a product design and discovery phase helps focus efforts so you can ensure that your mobile banking products and services are aligned with business goals and customer needs.
Eliminate Friction Points
Going hand-in-hand with building user-focused products, mobile banking apps should aim to eliminate friction points in the customer experience. This approach not only provides greater convenience for customers, but also makes economic sense. If your app allows users to complete actions that traditionally require speaking to a representative on the phone or visiting a branch location, you can reduce operational costs while making the lives of your customers easier.
This isn’t a new concept in banking and has taken off in other industries as well. For example, Clearbridge worked with Rogers Communications to create a mobile experience for their Chatr brand, which provided its customers a way to self-manage accounts and complete actions they previously had to call customer service for. In the utility sector, the Enercare app enabled the company to increase call center capacity and reduce call center volume by offering a self-service solution.
Banks have already created products and features that eliminate friction points, like e-deposit of cheques and mobile bill payments. However, there is still a wealth of opportunity to further improve customer experience and engagement. Special promotions, biometric log-ins, digital wallet, and the ability to temporarily deactivate credit and debit cards when lost or stolen are all features that consumers (millennials in particular) have shown interest in. Banks have the opportunity to not only streamline the customer experience with new features, but also improve how users experience features in current products.
Personalize The Mobile Banking Experience
While it’s easy to write personalization off as a buzzword, most consumers expect targeted offerings. For mobile, there needs to be a focus on using data and analytics to measure how consumers are interacting with your app, and leveraging it to offer experiences that are better catered towards customers. And with the acceleration of artificial intelligence, there is more opportunity than ever to truly cater experiences to the individual. Those who are fresh graduates are going to have different priorities and needs than those approaching retirement – the ability to personalize experiences based on needs and behaviours is where banks have a huge opportunity to improve customer experience and engagement.
Build A Continuous Delivery Model
One of the biggest roadblocks to digital innovation banks face is trying to innovate in a culture that is traditionally hierarchical and bureaucratic. Driving transformation in big organizations is difficult, often requiring far-reaching change management initiatives. However, rethinking the waterfall methodology and implementing an agile development philosophy is instrumental in improving time-to-market and keeping pace with innovation, particularly as smaller, fast-moving competitors vie for market share.
While agile transformation is difficult at scale, a variety of tactics such as beginning with a pilot project, using agile coaches, and customizing agile approaches to fit organizational needs have resulted in successful implementations within large organizations. For more information on agile implementation in enterprise environments, check out our enterprise mobility guide.
Providing the Experiences Your Customers Want
With customer behaviours changing and the demand for better mobile banking experiences increasing, banks face new challenges and opportunities. Adapting to changes, embracing new development philosophies, and focusing on the customer experience is central to providing the experiences your users want at a pace that is needed to remain on the leading edge.