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Messaging changes the banking customer experience

by 20 July 2020No Comments

Messaging changes the banking customer experience.

At the end of 2019, Sinch surveyed 2,300 global consumers to understand their attitudes towards messaging and how they prefer to interact with businesses using messaging.  

One of the most powerful discoveries relates to the banking sector, in particular consumers are open to receiving messages and notifications from banks, but they do not have access to these features or are not aware of them. The lesson: In no other industry is there a pent-up demand for messaging functionality compared to financial services. Now it's up to industry leaders to exploit this gap.  

Let's review the key research findings: 

1. Consumers are 35 times more likely to open mobile messages than emails

Mobile messages, even those scanned quickly from a home screen, are more likely to hit them than emails, which can be filtered into "promotional" folders or even relegated to spam. 

2. I consumers find value in being able to send messages to their bank

Nearly 3 in 4 (70%) say they would find mobile alerts about suspicious banking "very useful," and the 94% says these types of alerts would be at least somehow useful. Attitudes about personalized bank promotions delivered via messaging have been a little less enthusiastic but still positive.  

Message measurement utility

Which of these scenarios would you find useful?

Graph showing the message measurement utility

3. Younger consumers are more open to promotional messaging

According to Sinch research, nearly all bank customers welcome messaging when it comes to potential bank fraud, but attitudes towards promotional messages differ widely by generation. Baby boomers are less likely to welcome these kinds of interactions (only 30% claims to please), while more than half of millennials and Gen Z say the same.

Generation-to-generation messaging attitudes for the banking sector

Which of these scenarios is welcome?

(Show only "welcome" answers below)

Graph showing generation-to-generation messaging attitudes for the banking sector

4. I consumers want more messaging options

Research shows a clear "opportunity gap" between how consumers use messaging today and how they would like to use it. In the banking sector, the 70% wants banks to report their suspicious activity in their accounts, but only the 35% receives it today. A recent one  Facebook search  shows that young people's enthusiasm for messaging will put further pressure on the banking sector. It found that 90% of current account consumers aged 18 to 34 say they feel comfortable interacting with a bank on a messaging app.  
 

5. I consumers appreciate chatbots as an efficient alternative

2 out of 3 who have used a chatbot report a positive experience, citing speed and efficiency as the reason why. Most say chatbots are served even better than a human agent.  

What does this mean for the banking sector? Consumers are ready for more ... if financial institutions offer it. Among the great opportunities in the banking sector:  

Make it channel agnostic

Some of your customers will feel comfortable with in-app messaging, while others will prefer to talk to a real person on the phone. The key is to make sure you have the right channel for each of your customers, be it SMS, MMS, RCS, chat app, social app, email or voice. All of these elements play a vital role in the digital customer experience.  

Real-time interactions focused on security

Allow your customers to easily set up unbalanced and unusual activity notification triggers. Remember, the 90% of consumers aged 18-34 claims to feel  comfortable interacting with a bank using a messaging app. 

Support secure conversations

Give customers the options to chat with reps via the banking app or using a verified phone number via the messaging apps, always with an eye to security. These messaging-based interactions are a popular option for customers, who almost always have the phone on them for one exchange of messages , but  they may not be able to make voice calls or log in on a computer.  

Automate customer service

Not all customer questions require a human touch. For more routine interactions (e.g. Until when is my local branch open?), Banks can deploy messaging chatbots or rich media messaging answering chips (these are pre-programmed scripts and interactive features delivered automatically via messaging). And for customers who need even more support than automated conversations can provide, the app can quickly redirect the customer from messaging to a live call. 

Personalized solutions

A young consumer may be looking for a used car loan, while an older customer may seek social security advice on request. Messaging can be an important part of the conversation, giving banks the ability to initiate conversations triggered by a customer's recent financial milestone. For example, “I noticed that you recently set up a direct deposit into your savings account. Would you like to discuss money market options to get a higher return on those funds? Using rich media or RCS, banks can also offer advanced features such as ratings to recommend specific mortgage products. 

Push-based financial news

For clients looking to keep up with key financial indicators or news, design push-based campaigns tailored to the individual, whether it's breaking news on specific stock positions in the client's portfolio or releases of economic indicators impacting on those approaching retirement.  

Ultimately, regardless of the ecosystem of channels and features, the key is to ensure that customers trust their financial institution to protect their money and data. Customizing messaging and features is part of the trust equation, says Facebook. It found 2 out of 3 millennia and Gen Z  states that "feeling understood"  from your financial provider is an important indicator of trust. 

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