Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Benefits of Social Media Sign-In Must Offset Privacy Concerns

One of the most important yet tedious components of opening a new account account at a bank is completing the new account form. Whether done at a branch or online, the new account registration process is the first (and sometimes only) time when a bank can learn about a customer's needs, behaviors and expectations of the relationship.

Unfortunately, this process has changed very little over the years and is usually only comprised of gathering the most rudimentary of information from the potential customer (name, address, phone, social security number, account type desired, etc.) and collecting funds/obtaining a signature. The rationale for only collecting the most basic information has been to balance the desire for insight with a respect for the customer's time. This balance becomes even more important in the online world, where a customer can easily abandon the account opening process with little repercussion.

Online Account Opening Abandonment
According to a recent report from Javelin Strategy & Research entitled, 2011 Online Account Opening: Faulty Process Hobbles FIs in the Battle for Customer Acquisition Profitability and Retention banks lost close to $1 billion and 5.8 million customers due online abandonment during the account opening process over the past year. In fact, it was found that only 53% of new account applicants were able to successfully open and fund their new accounts. While some may later go to a branch, many new customers may be lost forever.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Direct Mail Still Has Impact in Digital World

As more and more marketing dollars are funneled into digital and social media, and as postal rates continue to climb, direct mail marketing has been getting less and less attention. While there is definitely a case to be made for building a multichannel communication plan integrating a number of different channels to reach customers, recent research indicates that direct mail should still be part of the mix.

A study entitled, Using Neuroscience to Understand the Role of Direct Mail conducted by the research company Millward Brown found that direct mail actually leaves a deeper impression on the human brain than its digital counterpart. The research project used functional Magnetic Resonance Imagery (fMRI) brain scans to show that our brains process paper-based and digital marketing differently and that direct mail actually created a greater emotional impression than digital communications.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Banks Must Develop Apps for Tablet Banking

According to Javelin Strategy and Research's just released third annual report, '2011 Mobile Banking Financial Institution Scorecard - Money Begins to Move on Mobile', tablets are the next wave of technology that will have a major impact on mobile banking. Similar to the smartphone, consumer adoption of the tablet is increasing rapidly and financial institutions will need to quickly accommodate this platform with a user experience that is unique and different from any other platform.

"The tablet is going to be a game changer.", according to Mary Monahan, executive vice president and research director at Javelin who oversaw the development of the new research. "Eight percent are already on a tablet, which is a huge amount when you consider how long the tablet has been out. . . . We think, with the mobile tablet, we will see much more mobile banking. " Link to Bank Info Security interview with Mary Monahan, Tablet: A 'Game Changer for Mobile Banking.

Of the top 25 banks reviewed in the study, 23 offered at least one form of mobile banking services (92%) compared to only 63% in June of last year and 48% in July 2009. In addition, 65% of the banks offered 'triple play' support (SMS text banking, mobile browser and downloadable apps). This was the first time more than half of the top banks supported all types of mobile phones for consumers to access their accounts whenever, wherever and however they wanted.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Big Bank Vulnerability to Attrition Provides Opportunity

On the heels of Bank Transfer Day, a new study suggests that many of the top banks in the country are vulnerable to continued outflows of customers and deposits. According to a just released 84 page study entitled, "2011 Retail Banking Brand Vulnerability Study" conducted by the Connecticut-based boutique consultancy cg42, the nation's top 10 banks are at risk of losing almost 9% of their customers and $185 billion in deposits during the next 12 months.

The study, based on surveys of 5,600 customers of the top U.S. banks used a proprietary Brand Vulnerability Index (BVI) to compare each bank's risk of attrition, decreased acquisition effectiveness and potential financial loss based on the frequency of customer frustrations; customer sharing behavior (for example, disclosure of frustrations on social media); the impact of frustrations on customer behavior; and the uniqueness of those frustrations to a particular bank

Source: cg42 Brand Vulnerability Index, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Banking Industry Leaders Discuss Findings of Intuit Financial Management Survey

In conjunction with the release of Intuit Financial Services' 4th Annual Financial Management Survey, hosted a Twitter Town Hall yesterday, bringing together financial industry leaders to discuss loyalty and channel migration as well as some of the challenges and opportunities facing the banking industry. The following is a recap of the very robust one hour dialogue. (the complete transcript can be found using #IFSsurvey on Twitter)

The Town Hall discussion began around the issue of customer loyalty and the finding that many consumers thought their financial provider was not 'in touch' with their needs. Given the events of the past week, where many large banks reversed decisions around the implementation of fees due to highly vocal negative sentiment amplified by social media and credit union trade group support, most participants believed that banks are not leveraging current insight and technology to make better decisions and provide value added service. 

Tobin Lee (@Tobin_Lee), Intuit Financial Services spokesperson stated, "It is time for a banker mindset shift; cultivating deeper relationships, more meaningful engagement and stronger advocacy for growth". Campbell Edlund from EMI (@EMI_mktg4sales) added, "These findings provide a very strong argument for a communications plan around the customer lifecycle". 

Consumers Are Increasingly Using Multiple Devices to Support Banking Needs

Traditional bricks and mortar facilities are being visited less as the use and importance of online and mobile devices continues to increase according to Intuit Financial Services' 4th Annual Financial Management Survey released yesterday. According to the survey, while a large percentage of consumers still manage their finances offline (45%), the percentage of consumers using online services from their financial institution has continued to increase annually; increasing 11% since 2009 to 38% in 2011.

The main reason consumers said that they don't visit their bank branch as often as they used to is because they are visiting their FI's website and use their online banking tools (76%). These online banking tools are so important that one-third (33%) said they would switch their relationship to another institution if there were better online tools offered elsewhere.

Source: Intuit Financial Services' 4th Annual Financial Management Survey

The importance of online tools was reinforced by Brett King, author of the bestseller Bank 2.0 and founder of direct mobile banking start-up Movenbank at this year's BAI Retail Delivery Conference in Chicago. "Banking is quickly changing from a place you go to something you do everyday," stated King. He provided a chart from the American Bankers Association and Nielsen Research that illustrated the channel migration occurring today and projected in the future.