Go Digital, But Don't Forget Banking's Human Factor

by Edward O'Brien 0

Type”the future of banking” into any search engine and you get the samepicture. Global banks and management consultancies alike portray future bankbranches as a cross between an Apple store and a spaceship — a big, open spacewith glossy white furniture, digital workstations and the occasional humanbeing at your service. Going to the bank will be like checking into a modernairport.

It’seasy to get carried away with this vision. Digital banking promises to fix mostof the problems that modern banks are struggling with: low customerinvolvement, high cost of service and competition from entirely new playerslike Google Wallet, Apple Pay, Simple and Betterment. Turning banking into bitsand bytes seems to be the perfect solution.

There’s justone problem: customers are not bits and bytes, but human beings. Most largebanks seem to be ignoring this fact. When President Obama has his

creditcard rejected

at a restaurant because of afraud protection algorithm in his bank’s computer system and when Ben Bernanke

can’t refinance his home

, it’s a sign that the banks have lost their human sensitivity.These experiences are not outliers; they are the norm.

The human factor isindeed a critical success factor for today’s financial institutions. While digital banking continues to grow, itis not solely because it reduces costs, rather these channels can – and should– enhance the overall banking customer experience. It is this desire to provide an outstandingcustomer experience that is a primary factor in FIs’ decision to invest indigital channels – as well as in omnichannel banking – to enhance overall customerinteraction, satisfaction, and engagement.

Overview by Ed O’Brien, Director, Banking Channels for Mercator Advisory Group

Read full story at American Banker

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