05 Jun 2017
The rush to digital banking has failed to impress some clients

The white paper titled Successful Digital Banking: Aligning business strategy with technology from Avaloq and Mimacom explores the rush to digitisation and how a lack of strategy can impact client experience.

The paper highlights the banking industry’s rush to digitisation, which has left some clients feeling overwhelmed by features and banks undertaking digital projects ‘in the dark’ with no concrete strategy.

The paper explores how banks initially felt unchallenged by new digital entrants until Apple and Google entered the financial market, which has led to a rush to digitisation.

While digitisation has been seen as the ultimate goal for banks, the paper’s findings actually reveal that many features of digital banking are not accepted by clients and do not provide a significant advantage for the bank itself. For example, Swiss bank clients in the Mimacom study Digital Banking Features repeatedly showed a preference for an omni-channel approach (online and personal) to the acceptance of online mortgages.

The paper also describes a knock-on effect of the industry’s digitisation, with the blurring of lines between traditional client roles in portfolio management and advisory and relationship management, which has triggered the need for adjustable business workflows. New service models are also emerging with different levels of investment outsourcing and automation.

A study within the paper also puts the spotlight on clients’ views of robo-advisors. Bank clients were given the possibility to define various investment goals, such as buying a car in five years, a house in ten or retiring at the age of 60. The tool gave different investment offers based on these goals and the current financial situation. However, despite the fact that bank clients enjoyed using the tool, hardly anyone wanted to use the tool in isolation, preferring instead to use it to prepare for meetings with their financial advisor.

Commenting on the paper’s findings, Thibaut Jacquet-Lagreze, Head of Group Marketing at the Avaloq group, said, “This digital rush has led to some banks failing to reap the benefits of digitisation. Our message to banks is always consistent: focus on your clients and their needs. Digitisation always requires a strategy; without one, banks are operating blindly and have no guarantee for success. Getting the balancing act right in terms of integrating services and providing what clients want through an omni-channel approach will lead to positive client experiences. Another important aspect for success is being agile in the way you design, deliver and manage projects, as this helps to deliver on user expectations.”

Mathias Gläser, Partner at Mimacom, said, “There is something digitisation has not changed: clients still expect service. It was really clear in the paper that all services should be designed as seamless processes with the ability to provide a personalised client experience. However, this requires an open architecture to enable personal advisors and wealth managers to highlight clear factors of differentiation when delivering services tailored to meet the needs and wants of their clients. Ideally, these should be delivered by a collaborative ecosystem to provide a holistic service. In line with client feedback, new digital touchpoints and features should be built and integrated with existing touchpoints, such as branches and call centre services in order to provide the great client experience they are looking for.”