- Banks don’t have unlimited resources to dedicate to throwing things against the wall in order to see what sticks
- Most banks have a long way to go in other channels
- Social media popularity is a guessing game
- Despite the popularity of social media, consumers and banks are still uneasy about conducting transactions over social channels
- Mobile: Critically important; the change from just a year ago is stunning
- Location: Especially as a distinguishing feature of mobile
- Customer experience: You’re competing against expectations set by non-financial firms. It’s not just mobile, it’s not even just digital, it’s the unified customer experience, across the bank. And that’s not easily quantifiable
- Business case: Those in the room agree it’s a little squishy, but make-able, but it’s critically important to executive leadership. Many of the exhibitors and speakers are working toward providing solutions that will make capturing that data easier
- Data: Capturing insights and measuring / analyzing results is critical; it’s best to build in these capabilities at the beginning; experiments are even better so that the causality / correlation puzzle can more easily be solved
- Regulation: Serving customers digitally is harder for banks than, say, retailers, but that’s no excuse – customers still expect a great and valuable service
- Customer: The number of banks who touted putting the customer first was extraordinary. Now we have to see whether their actions follow through on these encouraging words. Is mobile a chance to teach them new habits?
ING Direct Canada recently launched a new marketing campaign in order to promote RSPs (Retirement Savings Plan). The campaign includes a TV commercial that depicts someone suffering from anxiety and depression during RSP season. The commercial has resulted in a rash of negative comments and complaints (see ING’s Facebook page below) alleging that the commercial is inappropriate as it pokes fun at mental illness. I noticed only a handful of online users that have no problem with the advertisement, with one Facebook user saying, “Are you serious? I’m sorry, but people get offended *way* too easily, nowadays. And this is coming from someone who has dealt with a mental illness for more than half their life.”
ING Direct Canada is a very social media savvy institution. Their CEO is a frequent Tweeter and they regularly leverage social channels for marketing and promotions. Given the public outcry, they are now faced with a social media crisis and it will be interesting to see how they deal with it. Their social media skills are about to be put to the test. ING Direct announced earlier today that the TV spot will be pulled.
How do you think banks should deal with social outcry? Yes, this is about to become yesterday’s news but it still needs to be dealt with. Financial institutions can learn a lot from this situation, as banks are regularly bashed in social channels. It’s important to know how to listen to and engage with the public and also send out the appropriate messaging. Please weigh in with your thoughts and opinions.
- FNB (South Africa) launches banking via Facebook
- Citigroup Asks Facebook Users If They’d Like Social Banking
- Commonwealth Bank (Australia) to launch Facebook banking
suffer the same fate as iGoogle. The web is boundless, and I don’t see Facebook as the primary “portal” for transactional banking. Facebook is still primarily about interacting with friends and family. Brands clearly have some sort of home on Facebook, but hey, we all know what the value of a “like” is really worth on Facebook (or do you?).
Please chime in. Are Facebook banking apps the future of digital banking?
A handful of banks have already gone wild on Facebook , a notable example is ICICI.
- Alternative revenue sources. There is lots of scrambling going on given regulatory shifts and the need to grow revenues in the retail banking sector. Many of my discussions were about how banks can grow using the online and mobile channels. There were lots of questions regarding merchant funded rewards and how they can be integrated into online banking using vendors like Cardlytics or BillShrink.
- Analytics. This is a subject that everyone always seems to be talking about but isn’t doing all that much with. Banks are sitting on tons of data, sitting being the key word. A number of discussions centered around how to leverage this data to build more complete customer views and cross-sell other products.
- Online banking platform upgrades and PFM. This is now trickling down to the retail front, following a ton of activity in the corporate banking space. Banks are realizing that their online banking offerings are stale, and don’t provide the experience that customers are looking for. This will be a slow moving boat, but the exploration phase has certainly started. Much of this is being fueled by interest in PFM and the desire to integrate it with online banking.
- Mobile initiatives. Mobile is still a raging topic and was the focus of many discussions. A few key questions came up. Are mobile devices replacing the PC? What role do tablets play? Both these questions were also tied to the biggest dilemma – should I prioritize investment in the mobile channel, online channel, or both? My colleague Red Gillen will address these questions in more detail in a blog entry next week.
A couple of things surprised me:
- Lack of emphasis on social media. This has been a huge topic lately, and I found that the conference had little emphasis on this. Yes, the founder of Twitter was a keynote speaker, and there were other sessions on this topic, but I didn’t find that banks at the event had that many questions here. Many banks are still clueless when it comes to social media. I actually had one banker tell me that he doesn’t believe that social media will affect his customers. There is obviously a lot of learning for banks to do here in order to grow into the shifts that have already taken place in the online world.
- Limited concerns and discussions about online banking security and threats. All kinds of fraud has hit the business banking sector this past year. There is a lot that banks can learn from this, and additional safeguards need to be put into place for consumers.
For some further reading, Jim Bruene at NetBanker has compiled his Best of BAI Retail Delivery 2010.I welcome all comments and thoughts. I also encourage those of you who were in attendance to share your experiences.