Last week we introduced the MX 2021 Banker’s Survey, an original survey created to better understand the current state of banking and looking forward to 2021. To briefly recap our first post in a series of three, we found that bankers say they saw significant shifts in 2021 business objectives toward digital experience initiatives, financial wellness tools, and risk avoidance. 

2021 bank priorities

These initiatives hinge on having clean, comprehensive, and accurate data. After all, it’s difficult to improve a digital experience without detailed usage data, impossible to offer truly helpful financial advice if you’re missing data that shows the context of the person you’re advising, and hard to anticipate risk if you don’t have data around probabilities.

Unfortunately, only half of bankers surveyed say that progress toward data strategy initiatives are accelerating in 2021.

2021 bank data priorities

That said, even though only half of those surveyed said that their focus on data strategies are accelerating, 94% said it’s still a priority in 2021.

bank data priorities 2021

Drilling down even further, respondents also overwhelmingly agreed that leveraging analytics reports to understand user spending trends and behaviors is a priority, though only 33% strongly agreed, signifying that it’s pressing, but not quite as urgent for many respondents.

2021 bank analytics

What Are Consumers Saying?

To help banker’s better understand the urgency behind some of these initiatives, we also developed a new original consumer survey to build on the surveys we cover in our ultimate guides.

In this survey, we found that 69% said that they want their bank experience to mirror their experience with Netflix and Amazon, where they receive personalized recommendations.

2021 Consumer Banking Survey

And 63% say they would like their bank to send them proactive, personalized messages and alerts that help them manage their finances. 

2021 Consumer Banking Survey

And 68% said that competitive offers such as better loan rates are a primary reason they would switch banking providers — something that’s only possible to notify customers about if bankers aggregate competitor’s accounts and have a way to create personalized notifications about their offers.

2021 Consumer Banking Survey

The Urgency of Enhanced Data 

What we’ve discovered through these surveys shows a consistent theme: Bankers say they’re making data initiatives and financial wellness a priority in 2021. 

We believe that institutions that accelerate data strategy initiatives will outperform those whose interest is holding steady or slowing. Whether it happens in 2021 or 5 years from now, companies that make the investment in data will bolster their benefits for decades to come. 

Why? Today’s data initiatives enable bankers to give their customers a range of new offerings from clear transaction descriptions to getting personalized guidance and recommendations based on their data history. As institutions use data to create better offerings, they’ll in turn gather more data, creating a flywheel effect that, like Amazon and Netflix, will enable them to leave their competitors further and further behind.