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Understanding consumers

Banking customers, more than ever, want to feel in control. They want to be equipped to make sensible decisions about their future and they want proactive communications to help guide them on their way.

The banking industry was already facing extensive disruption and change. COVID-19 provides a chance to reset the role of banking in the mind of the customer, and align it with providing tailored solutions. Integration, proactivity and purpose are the new watchwords.

Personalization should be based on a deep understanding of the individual customer’s circumstances, a humanized and easy experience, especially for those new to digital channels. This is more relevant to those aged 45+, who still value a telephone number to contact banks (27 percent).

Knowing customers - Banking - infographic

Digital banking has been fast tracked

Once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, banking is expected to become ever less branch-centric with consumers looking to securely access personalized products and services online. Many banks will need to further evolve their channel strategy. They will likely need to advance investment in their digital offering which may have previously been part of their medium to long-term core strategy. Post-COVID-19, consumers will use branches less (-4 percent on average) and shift into digital channels like websites and apps (+4 percent, +5 percent). This trend has been consistent through all waves of this research, suggesting these changes are here to stay.

Security of personal information is important for more than half of banking customers. Reassuring the 45+ age group is key to encourage digital channel use. Security is particularly important for countries with higher usage of new and digital banks: Hong Kong (SAR) (67 percent), Spain (61 percent), Japan (60 percent), Brazil (59 percent) and China (58 percent), as well as for financially overwhelmed (59 percent) and comfortable (58 percent) consumers.

What does this mean for the new reality?

It is important for banks to offer new and more complex services online that were traditionally carried out in-branch. This will allow customers to self-serve and solve queries quicker.

Banks should endeavor to offer a more personalized experiences and increase customer confidence by supporting them through the current financial uncertainty.