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Banks Need to Offer an Experience That's as Personal as GPS Software

Apr 22, 2016 11:27:53 AM

GPS software learns users' personal behavior and then gives them customized options based on their preferences. Banks can do the same.


Personalization Is Becoming the Norm

With today’s online culture, 88% of consumers say reviews influence their buying decision. As a result, the great B2C tech companies (Amazon, Facebook, Netflix) today focus on advocacy and putting the customer first.

A large part of putting the account holder first is personalizing the experience for the user and bringing them closer to your organization. Netflix gives suggestions of what movies or shows you may like, Amazon creates a customized home page for you based on your past transaction history, Google prioritizes search results based on your location, and Trip Advisor gives you suggestions based on where your friends have traveled.

When it comes to financial services, so far the majority of companies have not hit the mark. According to Gallup Research, 67% of consumers believe the banking offers they have received could apply to anyone, 41% thought the offer was annoying or intrusive, and over 50% already had that product with the bank!

“Very little in digital banking right now is personal, and almost nothing about digital drives emotion. Data has to be used to drive that.”

– Omnichannel Executive, Top 50 Bank (NetFinance)


How to Personalize

The first steps in creating a personal experience can be fairly simple. You might use your account holder's name when welcoming them to your app, include a background picture of the location they are currently in (as Chase has done), or wish them happy birthday through email, ATM or other channels.

The second step gets a lot more complicated and alludes to what we discussed in our previous UX white paper, having disparate systems working seamlessly together to create amazing experiences for users that are built on a strong foundation of data.

There are many challenges involved with using data to personalize the account holder experience, including that of a reputational nature. As one executive at a NetFinance VIP Think Tank said, “My biggest fear is our bank appearing on the front page of the New York Times for data mining customers/members without permission.”

However, if done right, personalization offers huge possibilities. By looking at data on income, location, transactions, demographics, competitors and more, financial institutions can offer services specific to that user. When offers become this targeted, click-through rates can surge from less than 1% to over 20%. Furthermore, the more personal the experience you create, the more likely users are to rave about your financial institution to friends. More on this in future MX white papers.

“Mass personalization tied to permission-based money movement is going to change this industry so dramatically that we will not recognize it within the next decade.”

– Brad Leimer, Head of Innovation, Santander Bank N.A.


Pattern the Experience on Modern GPS Software

No consumer banks the same way and no consumer has the same financial situation. Some are power users who pull all of their finances into a spreadsheet and crunch every number (usually 5-10% of consumers), while others quickly glance at their balance. Some users are looking to retire in 5 years, while others are trying to pay off their student and car loans. Being able to create UI that can handle these multiple use cases is the ‘holy grail of design.’

Many online tasks at financial websites are by nature transactional: you check your account balance, check transactions etc. While these tasks may be somewhat mundane, there are big opportunities to change that.

In the past, if you went off course with a GPS it would just tell you there is an error. As it has evolved, if you go off course it will automatically create a new course to get you to your final destination in the most optimal way. Now, it has gone a step further where it learns users' personal behavior and then gives them customized options based on their preferences. For instance, the GPS can begin to recognize behavior and know that for example, the user likes scenic routes. While they may not always choose the scenic route, it can give them a variety of options of how to get there and they can choose the one most relevant for that situation. Here is an example:

The same thing applies to your finances. Everyone has goals they want to meet, but as you go through life, there are a lot of distractions and events that get you off course i.e. having a child, getting sick, buying a house.

As a leading financial institution, you should be able to use your deep expertise to provide your account holders tools, guidance, education and advice to not only meet their goals, but to help them adjust along the way.

"Most banks are focused on getting consumers to open savings, lending or investment accounts. We want to find ways to help consumers improve their behaviors so they can spend smarter and save more. Opening these accounts becomes an outcome, not the primary selling point.”

Mohamed Khalil, Head of Product, Data and Marketing, Moven



Want to learn more about how to create a powerful user experience for account holders? Download our free white paper below:


Topics: Technology

James Hodges

Written by James Hodges

James is the Director of Community & Client Advocacy here at MX.

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