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Maintaining Banking Members from Afar with Effective Mobile Banking

Maintaining Banking Members from Afar with Effective Mobile Banking

Each year, incoming college freshmen move across the country (or across the state) to their new homes for the next four years. Their to-do lists will definitely cover the essentials, like furnishing their dorm rooms, enrolling in classes and buying textbooks, but may overlook their banking options. Without a branch near their campus or even in the same state, they’ll likely turn to their bank’s mobile banking service. But if that service is lackluster, inconvenient or even nonexistent, come Thanksgiving break they may have no choice but to give up, close their account, and move onto another institution that can provide a better digital experience.

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This scenario is hardly limited to college students: in fact, one in three customers under the age of 40 have changed banks in pursuit of a better mobile experience. Though intended to be a viable method alongside traditional banking with a live teller, many mobile banking programs fall short. Updates or notifications sent via SMS or email tend to be one-way messages which don’t allow users to reply, ask questions, or correct information. Over half of customers are frustrated by these one-way messages, which activate interactive, two-way channels but fall short of fully utilizing them.

Mobile banking is about much more than convenience: complementary features, like personalized financial advice, as well as security are also key. Whether in the form of consultations, tutorials and guides, personalized financial assessments, or any other kind of readily-available resource that can help users take charge of their personal finances, financial help is a key ingredient to member retention. In fact, nearly 9 out of 10 customers would like to receive personalized financial advice from their bank — without having to ask for it — but fewer than 3 in 10 currently enjoy such a service.

 

Just as important — particularly for the banking experience — is a reassuring sense of security. The vast majority of customers appreciate features like video chats with live tellers, or secure badges to verify incoming calls from their banks. These relatively simple offerings help ensure bank members that their banking communications are secure, which in turn will make them more likely to utilize your mobile banking service. Trust, above all, is the bottom line in both convincing people to let a bank handle their hard-earned money, and retaining them as a customer once they’ve agreed to do so.

So, what can banks do?

On paper, many of the above preferences may seem like tall orders.

Easily-accessible customer support with a prompt response time is a difficult service to offer when a bank’s customers and managed accounts number in the millions, and personalized financial plans and guidance for each one of them may sound like an even more labor- and resource-intensive task.

But in practice, they don’t have to be nearly so troublesome.

Open lines of communication between bank and customer aren’t exclusive to phone conversations, or even live support for every interaction, so long as pressing needs are addressed efficiently. Today’s conversational AI, boasting innovations like natural language processing (NLP), is capable of powering chatbots that can fully comprehend the nature and content of a customer inquiry – and respond to it in a human-like manner. Cutting-edge bots powered by NLP can even surpass human levels of language comprehension and image recognition, parse through messages laden with typos or regional slang, and even mimic the tone of a customer to seem more lifelike.

NLP-powered bots can also draw on stored customer data or recent transactions to deliver personalized financial advice on customers’ preferred channels, embedding customized video tutorials for new bank services, guides and information tailored to individual account needs, and more. While there will always be a need for live bank tellers and service agents for certain issues, many day-to-day queries can be handled by conversational AI, saving banks significant time and resources while cutting down on customer wait times.

For issues that require a human touch beyond what an automated platform can offer, smart operator connection services can significantly improve customer experience. These platforms offer seamless transitions from chatbots to live operators, smart operator matching to ensure that customers are connected to the right agent for their needs, and customer data storage across channels to ensure the pertinent information is ready at hand.

Implementing these solutions not only reduces strain on live service teams, but it also enhances the customer experience by helping banking members resolve their inquiries or issues as quickly as possible.

Mobile banking services are rising in popularity — and are particularly useful for students away from home for the first time in their lives. Meeting members’ needs from afar via mobile banking services will be critical for banks to retain members in an increasingly mobile world. Smart communications platforms and conversational AI can help banks get there.

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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