For customers, selecting a bank nowadays is a chore: they all look and brand themselves basically the same way. A savings account is a savings account, it doesn’t matter who is the financial provider offering it. In fact, there’s no real difference between them.
So, it typically comes down to customer experience, trust and price. These are things banks definitively need to focus on to survive, keep and grow their business.
But, if you really want to differentiate from the bank across the street, you need to be different. Do not offer a savings account and a credit card just like everyone else. Figure out how your individual customers use their money, what they are lacking and what frustrates them and create brand new financial products, services and ways to interact with them.
Banks need to break free from the 300-year-old checking account model and create something new.
So, how do you go about doing just that?
Start with the customer journey, design the flow of customer interactions, needs and desires and figure out what you need to provide. To make it work, use the journey as anchor of what needs to be built below the surface.
Create a digital ecosystem, using open APIs as a key element to build digital experiences and to enable future channels and integrations that provide new ways to interact with your products and services.
An integrated and properly designed API will not only enable integrations and extensibility, but also promote a consistent, continuous and coherent experience for customers through all channels.
Design your products and services to fit your customer journeys, do not constrain the experience by established de facto rules and commoditized services. Maybe an account should behave differently if the customer is abroad, or payments should be allowed for teenagers only during the day.
Financial products and services are rarely the end goal of a person: they need a new car, or fix the house or buy a new TV, not a loan. The loan is just the enabler.
Integrate your journeys into the real-life process, create real-time, seamless integrations with retailers, service providers, apps and corporate customers to enable transparent flows for the end user.
React fast, try new ways of interacting with users and test new product structures often. Take decisions based on data and feedback. Ask the right questions.
*Ricardo Zuasti is Chief ProductOfficer at Technisys.
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