Bank customers desire different delivery, not different service

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The basic purpose of banking institutions hasn’t changed over the past few decades, but the way in which customers are using them has.

That’s according to a panel on ‘The Future of Banking’, held at the Temenos Community Forum in Barcelona this week.

Chaired by Ben Robinson, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at the vendor, the discussion passed over just how the industry might change in the years to come.

Rita Gunther McGrath, of Columbia Business School, used the example of communications: from the courier to the Pony Express to the telegraph, telephone and internet, the need has been the same but the vector has changed.

“Customers don’t really want change,” opined Michael Panowich, Senior Vice President and Deputy Head of Digital Banking at Nordea. “People want convenience, price and good service. What we can change is how we deliver those services.”

Bruce Rogers, Chief Insights Officer at Forbes, agreed. After conducting a study on C-level bankers and high net worth individuals, Forbes found out that customers (and millennials in particular) don’t want a solely digital future – they still desire face-to-face interaction.

The question that should be asked, according to David Brear, CEO of 11FS, is whether banks are meeting these needs: “Maybe only a handful of banks locally are making a real difference”.

He added: “We’re reading newspapers on iPads these days”, what banks have been doing in the modern age is comparatively underwhelming. UK banks, he continued, are bribing customers over to them with promises of £50, £100 or £200. That’s not the way to do it.

Brear pointed to the example of challenger banks like Mondo, which has 160,000 people signed up just to use an alpha stage. This is a clear example, he says, that customers want things done in a different way.

By Alex Hamilton