Banks have two compelling reasons to migrate to digital: lower cost, and the fact that digital—especially mobile—interactions consistently create more customer delight for routine transactions than do traditional channels. Simply installing a functional app or fixing what is broken in the current app is not sufficient to delight customers. An app must be reliable, convenient and easy to use if it is to shift volume away from branches. Now that most customers have used excellent apps from companies in other industries, they expect equally strong mobile features from their banks.
Migration also hinges on banks having a thoughtful process for changing behaviors of customers who are technology laggards. In the branch, for instance, employees can ask customers whether they would like to skip the line, then pull them aside to help them set up an online account and show them how to transact. The second or third visit might require further guidance, until the customer is comfortable with the technology.
Consumer confidence rebounded to its strongest level in nearly a year in May as economic prospects brightened for a wide swath of Americans.
The University of Michigan preliminary consumer sentiment index for May, released Friday, registered at 95.8, compared with a final April reading of 89.0. May’s preliminary reading was the strongest since June 2015. April’s reading was the lowest since September 2015.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected the preliminary May index would hold steady at 89.0.
In general, community banks and credit unions are right to believe that their efforts have paid off in engaged customers and members. But too often, those customers or members think of their banks or credit unions as merely hospitable places to store money. They don’t consider them trusted financial advisers. They go to big-money banks for big-money advice, such as retirement, insurance and investment products.
National banks may have a smaller percentage of engaged customers, on average, than community banks and credit unions do. But they do just as well as, if not better than, community banks and credit unions in several product/service categories, and they have a significant edge for credit products.