Digital Banking Customer Experiences: The Omni-Engagement Guide

The complete customer engagement guide to design high performing digital banking experiences that span across a customer's lifecycle. Understand how MoEngage helps to create the Netflix of banking.

  • Business Insider Study reports that 89% of consumers, including 97% of millennials, use mobile banking.

  • Learn how banks have embraced omnichannel customer engagement to gain the trust of Millennials and Gen-Z

  • Understand consumer engagement challenges in mobile banking and ways to overcome them

What is Digital Banking?

Digital banking is essentially the traditional banking experience going online. Over the past few years, banks all over the world have gradually transitioned simple activities such as opening and operating a savings account to complex financial services such as managing investments to the internet.

Physical branches do exist but customers are increasingly encouraged to carry out banking transactions digitally, through their bank’s website or mobile app.

How has the pandemic impacted digital banking

Mobile or digital banking is not just a whim. Post the onset of the pandemic in 2020, downloads of mobile banking apps globally grew by 20% in Q2 over Q1. The daily active users (DAU) also increased by close to 6% for banking apps in the same period.

According to The Financial Brand, 35% of customers adopted online banking, with 30% specifically increasing their use of mobile banking since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. The absolute numbers for mobile banking are even more revealing.

Business Insider Intelligence’s Mobile Banking Competitive Edge Study reports that 89% of consumers, including 97% of millennials, use mobile banking.

How are banks engaging customers digitally?

Banks are trying to keep pace by focusing on creating digital platforms through which customers can manage their entire personal finance ecosystem - including investment management, utility bill payment, wire transfers, credit, and loans, etc. They’re also simplifying financial processes through seamless onboarding experiences, easier transactions such as remittances, pushing contactless payments, sending out targeted communications, etc. Additionally, we have a plethora of fintech companies offering P2P lending, digital wallets, free trading apps, etc.

However, merely going online or building an app for your customers is not enough. Nor is the simple stacking up of channels such as email, social media, app, website one on top of the other.

You need to position your online banking app as the hub around which you build an omnichannel consumer engagement strategy.

Why adopt an Omni/multi-channel approach to customer engagement?

Why is an omnichannel marketing strategy essential? Because your customers are not restricting their use of online banking to a single channel. According to research from Google, consumers typically switch between three to four screens before completing a transaction. An omnichannel strategy enables you to use all available marketing channels to achieve an integrated and seamless customer experience. The customer, on the other hand, is able to move from your app to website to push notifications to social media, experiencing the same branding and messaging throughout in a synchronized way.

For an example of better integration of online and offline banking, look at Singapore’s DBS. The bank has moved eleven processes online to reduce the need for manual intervention. They have been running webinars during the pandemic to train staff on how to use digital tools. They are also building online services for SMEs to apply for short-term loans.

What is the Netflix of banking experience?

Simply put, imagine creating the Netflix experience in banking - ease of subscription and access, seamless continuity across devices and locations, greater choice for customers, and data-driven recommendations. The rewards for consistent customer experience integration in online banking are huge - companies that use omnichannel strategies retain 89% of their customers on average as compared to 33% for those with weak omnichannel engagement, according to a study by Invesp.

How can banks and financial services organizations master omnichannel customer engagement? The first step is to start looking at your app and website as a lifestyle offering rather than just a utility. This approach brings customer experience under the lens. It gets you thinking about how to make customers stay and engage longer with your app the next time they log in for a transaction. Could you push an exciting offer while they’re buying coffee at Starbucks? Or shopping at a Max retail outlet?

Rakbank of UAE is an excellent example of extending touchpoints with customers beyond traditional banking transactions. Three out of the bank’s six apps are related to food delivery, football and school fee payment. Through these apps, the bank is accessible to customers at various points in their lifecycle.

How can financial services (BFSI) master omnichannel customer engagement

Once you have made the mindset change to position your brand as a lifestyle one, follow these steps to deliver omnichannel engagement to your customers -

  1. Analyze - Synthesize all your customer data to build a central, 360° view that takes into account their app/online behaviour as well as their demographic characteristics. Your bank probably already has a robust data architecture. How do you pull out the right data to design the relevant services for your customers when they most need them?

  2. Segment - Group your customers based on similar behaviour or attributes or even user events, for example, “users who completed three transactions in the last five days”. Segmentation on the basis of comprehensive customer data also helps you identify which customers are better positioned to ride out the pandemic and reach more actively to those who are likely to need more support. Commercial Bank of Dubai aims to take segmentation to the next level by making ‘marketing to one’ the target instead of the current ‘marketing to mass’.

  3. Optimize - Use AI to create campaigns that maximize conversion. AI also helps you personalize experiences for every user who lands on your website or app. Personalization builds trust in your brand as your customers know you’re looking out for them. Mashreq bank of UAE has seen a 2x increase in click-through rates merely by including the customer’s name at the beginning of a notification.

  4. Engage - Nobody wants to receive repeated notifications for services they’ve already signed up for or don’t have use for. Send out the right communication at the right time to keep customers engaged. By using predictive analytics tagging user location and past patterns in the gold purchase, Rakbank designed and delivered communication that targeted the right audience at the right time. This robust approach gave them a 10x growth in conversions for their gold accounts.

How to gain the trust of the Millennials and Gen-Z

A successful omnichannel experience is one that earns the customer’s trust. In an age riddled with fears of cybersecurity breaches, trust is what will drive the quality of consumer engagement, irrespective of the kind of online banking strategy you come up with.

A dream state would be to emulate American Express, which has the world’s most successful credit card referral program, with over 10% of new customers coming in as referrals. To get there, especially for fintech with Millennial and Gen Z customers, you need to:

  • Simplify jargon and financial terms for consumers. Catch their attention as they skim through your website or app, at the same time helping them make informed decisions.

  • Be transparent and clear in your communication with your consumers.

  • Make use of your customers’ social capital by getting them to talk about the products and services that they use.

Consumer engagement challenges in mobile banking

Banks face some inherent challenges when it comes to making the changes required to win and engage customers with mobile banking trends in this age of digital finance. Here are the most pressing obstacles you are likely to find on this journey:

  1. Your mobile customer journey is not connected with other channels or you roll out changes in a piecemeal way. This makes it difficult for customers to connect the dots between various digital channels. The solution is, to begin with, a complete cross-channel approach to user engagement, integrate customers’ behavioural, demographic, and geographical data across channels, and create solutions that matter and can be delivered in a seamless way. Check out omnichannel customer journeys and how to map them in your campaign.