One third of Bank of America customers — 17 millionpeople — bank on their mobile devices, and the number is growing at a rate of150,000 per month.
Yet customers have notgiven up more traditional channels. Ten million customers a week call one ofthe bank’s contact centers; seven million walk into one of its branches.
Understanding thatdichotomy is important, and many of the popular explanations for it are wrong,warns Steve Beasty, consumer banking technology executive.
“Weall [assume of] people walking into the branch, ‘That’s my mother,’ while thedigitally active customers are like my 20-year-old daughter,” he said.”But when we dig into this deeper, that’s not what’s going on. The digitalcustomers are doing basic transactions online and on mobile — checkingbalances, depositing checks. But they’re also using our physical branches andour call centers when they have a concern about something in one of theiraccounts or they’ve got a problem — ‘I tried to deposit a check at the ATM andit shredded my check.’ “
Other times thesecustomers are looking for advice, perhaps to help choose a mortgage.
Beasty’s team is workingto smooth the experience as customers cross from the digital to the physicaloutlets of the bank. “They come to the branch or contact center to finishsomething they started in mobile,” Beasty said.
Hisfirst goal is to make the transition effortless. “Digital customers don’twant to have to type in numbers or information,” Beasty said. “Wejust want to click, tap or swipe. So it needs to be pretty automatic.”
The second goal is forcustomers only to have to authenticate themselves once.
Consumers’ choices of banking preferences, includingchannels, continue to evolve. At thesame time, Mercator Advisory Group research indicates that none of the channelsgoes away – there are merely more choices for banking customers. And these choices create new ways foropportunities for banks and credit unions to grow relationships with theirbanking customers and build increased satisfaction and loyalty.
Overview by Ed O’Brien, Director, Banking Channels for Mercator Advisory Group
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