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4 Insights Into the Digital Banking Momentum

Banks that offer a hybrid of digital, humanized and in-person options have a better chance of hanging on to loyal customers.

Bank customers — most notably Gen Z and millennials — prefer both digital and physical (branch) channels for their banking needs, according to “Building on the Digital Banking Momentum,” an article based on survey responses from 3,000 consumers by research and data company Deloitte.

While consumers often prefer digital channels such as mobile apps for simple transactions like mobile deposit, many still like human interaction when it comes to understanding and using complex products and services like mortgages and seeking financial advice, says the report.

Meeting customers’ need for the “human touch” in digital channels is an opportunity that banks don’t want to miss, says Deloitte:

“Banks have a unique opportunity to influence customer preferences for digital channels, increase [loyalty] and at the same time strengthen relationships. Banks should capitalize on the momentum in the use of digital and self-service channels and try to elevate customer experience with an innovative blend of human and digital features.”

Read for more findings from the Deloitte survey.

1. Bank customers still value the human touch

“Humanizing customer interactions in an increasingly hybrid world will be pivotal to engage consumers, and branches and digital channels will likely have an equally important role to play,” says the Deloitte report.

Even as banks “reduce their branch footprint,” they should revisit principles of lobby design, remodeling branches to include intimate settings that allow bankers to assist with complex product-related conversations, financial goals and emotional connections, advises the report.

2. Customers seek personalized experiences

Banks should consider curating a list of financial products and services suited to each individual’s personal needs and lifestyle based on their transactional and behavioral data instead of overwhelming customers with their full product portfolio, says the Deloitte report:

“Our survey indicates that branches will not have lost their relevance in the post-pandemic world and would remain important in catering to the demands of Gen Z and Boomers alike.

“They are expected to continue to be the core platform to forge deeper, personalized relationships, along with providing a sense of community and “human” touch on important financial decisions, such as buying a home or planning for retirement.”

3. Consumers need to know their data is secure

In addition to staying on top of cybersecurity, banks must also pay attention to consumers’ “perception of security and privacy” at their bank, according to the Deloitte report:

“One-third of our survey respondents agreed they would use more mobile apps if their banks strengthened mobile data security. A similar proportion of at-risk consumers would stick with their primary banks if banks kept their identity and information secure.

“Banks should design targeted communication campaigns on the security and privacy features in their digital banking offerings and guide consumers on the leading practices of securely using digital banking.”

4. Customers seek financial education

Around one-third of Gen Z and millennial survey respondents say they’d use their bank’s mobile app more often if their bank educates them on products, services and financial factors like debt management to help them achieve financial goals.

“Banks are uniquely qualified to reinforce financial wellbeing, but this can only happen if consumers are financially literate,” according to the Deloitte report. “So financial education, especially among the younger cohorts, should remain a top priority.

“To appeal to their younger customer base that spends a significant amount of time on social media, banks should experiment with fresh approaches, such as influencer marketing over more traditional marketing techniques.”