Predictions: Pressure mounts on banks to exceed customer demand in evolving industry

Looking ahead at how customer expectations of financial services are likely to change in 2022 and what this means for banks.

1 – Creating a Unified Experience: Mapping out the Entire Customer Journey

Looking ahead to 2022, providing a seamless customer experience is more important than ever. Banks must be able to create a consistent, integrated experience across all channels – meaning that a customer can start an application on their mobile phone, finish it on their computer, and visit a bank branch where employees have real-time data in their systems. It’s important to make sure the customer self-service and bank employee channels are connected.

2 – Investment in Infrastructure: Adopting a Robust Platform for Agility & Intelligence across the Enterprise

The banking industry has largely weathered the pandemic storm, although sluggish loan activity and low interest rates continue to curb revenue. This will soon change, however, as consumer spending increases and the market bounces back.

Banks need to invest in technology and talent to make the most of the recovering economy.  It’s become crucial for companies to build an infrastructure that facilitates their digital transformation and helps them provide an exceptional customer experience. Banks need to view their enterprise as a network for digital intelligence and automated decisioning. It’s not surprising therefore that it’s predicted that a quarter of banks will increase their tech spending in 2022 by 10% or more (according to Forrester Research Inc.).

3 – Smarter, Faster Decisioning: Solutions that Satisfy (Increasingly Demanding) Customer Expectations

Challengers, upstarts, and newcomers will continue to disrupt the financial services market, which means that banks need to be quick and agile to stay ahead of the competition.

The COVID pandemic caused dramatic changes in the ways businesses could interact with consumers and accelerated the adoption of digital transformation in every industry. With rising customer expectations spurred by online retailers and FinTechs, banks need to start becoming innovators by embracing technologies that help make smarter, faster, and more profitable decisions.

Digital transformation is table stakes as the world is now “on” 24/7 and customers have more options than ever before. However, it’s not all about product and services in 2022 – it’s about the customer experience. Expectations for instant gratification and customer experience will keep increasing, as will the need for financial institutions to respond and make decisions in real-time.

4 – Embracing the Power of Data: Maximizing Data Monetization, Effectively & Responsibly

Organizations will need to have the ability to bring in data, and effectively move it and map it. To do this, banks must learn to be comfortable with employing new technology (e.g., AI-enabled solutions) that provides a holistic view of both internal and external data, along with end-to-end data integration and management tools.

In addition to streamlining business processes and reducing waste, AI solutions will also be used to help create customized digital experiences, relevant offers, and features/products that customers want.

5 – Financial Wellness & Education: Humanizing Digital Experiences & Caring About Customers

Customer-centricity has become a popular (if not over-used) branding tagline for many companies over the past few years, but what does it really mean and how is it translated into real business action? For financial institutions, being customer-centric means providing positive experiences and caring about the financial health of customers. Therefore, to be truly customer-centric, a bank’s efforts must be focused on customer experience and anchored to financial wellness outcomes for its customers.

People don’t care what you know until they know that you care. Providing the best service means caring about customers and their financial wellbeing. This approach has both social and business benefits, allowing a bank to cultivate more financially healthy customers, which in return, improves the financial health of the institution.

Darryl Knopp, Senior Director of Global Marketing at analytics company FICO