Customer expectations are soaring, says WRBR 2018

Lindsay James
Lindsay James
By Lindsay James on 21 September 2018
Customer expectations are soaring, says WRBR 2018

According to the World Retail Banking Report 2018 (WRBR 2018), launched by Capgemini and Efma, customer expectations are soaring and banks must respond quickly to avoid losing business to ‘bigtechs’ - large, multinational technology firms such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Alibaba and Tencent.

The report finds that overall customer satisfaction is low. Barely half of customers say their experience across different bank channels was positive (51% in branch, 47% on mobile and 52% on internet banking), despite continued bank investment. Nearly a third of customers would consider bigtechs for financial products and services.

Overall, personalisation is key. Satisfaction was notably higher among those customers who had been offered personalised digital experiences proactively (49%) than those who had not (39%).

The report also surveyed banking executives about the main causes of industry disruption. The most-cited factor was rising customer expectations, with nearly three out of four executives (70%) stating that positive experiences in other sectors mean customers now expect more from their banking provider. A majority of executives also said that regulatory pressure was a cause of disruption, while 54% identified the increasing demand for digital channels as a factor. As lines between traditionally different industries now start to blur, banks now face increasing competition from non-traditional firms who are targeting niche areas of the banking value chain, Also, increasing digitisation and explosion of new technologies are rapidly changing the banks’ ways of working.

“With fintechs, bigtechs, and other non-FS firms finding their place in the market, retail banking today is all about the customer experience when interacting with their financial institution,” said Anirban Bose, CEO of Capgemini’s Financial Services Strategic Business Unit. “As a new, open ecosystem – comprised of customers, traditional banks, non-traditional firms, regulators, and developers – takes shape, there is now a clear opportunity for banks to leverage digital transformation to retain customer relationships by re-inventing the customer journey and creating new revenue streams.”

Despite the reality of growing regulation, non-traditional competition, emerging technologies, and customer expectations, banks are not powerless to use change to their advantage. A significant majority of banking executives (70%) think they can ‘generate non-traditional revenue’ via collaboration with fintech and bigtech providers, whether to develop a new service or distribute third-party products via a marketplace platform. Most banks believe there are untapped opportunities to make more strategic use of data to improve the customer experience: executives said they plan to use customer data to create smoother customer journeys, develop relationship-based pricing, build personalised loyalty rewards and create lifecycle-stage products and services.

“The retail banking industry is at an inflection point and needs to determine its role going forward in the open banking ecosystem. There is opportunity to innovate through collaboration as well as reinvention. It is an exciting time to be in banking as regulation, innovation, competition and collaboration merge to form the bank of the future,” said Vincent Bastid, Secretary General of Efma.

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