Three out of four Germans between the ages of 18 and 39 carry out banking activities online with devices like smartphones and tablet computers. These bank customers are only rarely in contact with a personal consultant. To attract customers, local branches have to start ramping up their digital service offerings, placing the customer back in the focus of processes. This will require a radical shift in business thinking on all levels – which could prove highly rewarding.
Banks keen to understand the mindset of their younger customers would be wise to find a place in their everyday digital habits – no easy task for more traditional financial consultants who received a classic education and training. Attracting younger customers with things like free starters’ accounts or raffling off concert tickets isn’t enough these days. Why? Because banking has to work on a completely different level, in a way that matches ‘digital natives’. GFT will present ideas for potential first steps at this year’s CeBIT.
Let’s call our fictitious, young bank customer Tim, and follow him on his customer journey through the banking system.
Naturally Tim is an outgoing person and very mobile within social networks, both privately and professionally. That’s why he thought it was terrible when no-one at his local branch greeted him when he came in for a personal consultation, and then he had to wait while someone painstakingly entered all kinds of data into the computer. But now that the bank has become active through all communications channels, Tim stays in touch with his consultant through Facebook or Twitter, without everything coming back to banking services the whole time.
At the local branch the digital customer management system recognises customers through their smartphones and asks how it can be of assistance.
This way the branch employee has all of the important data on screen. Tim also likes the personal finance overview he sees every time he logs into his online account. It automatically categorises all income and outgoings for him in an easy-to-interpret graph. The new service offering also now includes automatic account optimisation: if there’s a risk that the customer might overdraw, he’ll get a text message warning or an email push notification. The customer can then decide whether he’d like a short-term bridging loan with a few quick taps on his touchscreen. After all, this would be far cheaper than the interest on the overdraught.
The new mobile payment service doesn’t just let customers pay for things via smartphone, they can also transfer money to others.
Simply tapping the mobile number in the contact list on the smartphone is enough ¬¬– within seconds the desired amount is transferred to the recipient’s account. This so-called peer-to-peer payment isn’t just convenient, it’s also secure because it runs on the highly secure infrastructure of a major bank – unlike some start-up services. Inconvenient transfers to pay bills are also a thing of the past: banks can now score extra brownie points with intelligent finance management tools – processes that make it possible to digitise and automate processing. It makes no difference whether these are in PDF, Microsoft Word or email format. And: less paperwork means more spare time.
What sounds like a vision of digital banking becomes a reality at CeBIT thanks to GFT.
To present this, the company will set up a digital banking lab in the CODE_n hall at CeBIT (Hall 16, stand D30). This will showcase the most innovative service offerings in a sample living room which is networked with a futuristic bank branch. This is the place to be for experts who would like to learn more about the most important IT trends for the financial sector. The systems can even be tried out under real, lifelike conditions. The various modules place a clear emphasis on customers and make the banks of tomorrow more tangible – from the personal smartphone greeting when you step in the bank to mobile peer-to-peer payments and automated customer account enhancements, provided as part of personal finance management.
And coming back to Tim – what’s the best bit for him? As a customer, he now truly takes centre stage. GFT shows you how financial institutions can profit from a model that requires out-of-the-box thinking on all levels – in fact the only way for commercial banks to assert themselves in the battle for customers.