Digital transformation: digital banking strategies throughout the customer lifecycle


While there is a near-universal understanding of its importance, many banks are struggling to implement a forward-thinking digital banking strategy. Even defining digital transformation can be tricky, as the proper definition varies from bank to bank.

This blog walks you through the essentials of digital transformation. Read on for tips to support your digital strategy and create great digital experiences for prospects, advocates, and everyone else.

What is digital transformation in the banking sector?

When we talk about digital transformation, we are really talking about a shift in mindset about the entire banking experience, from backend processing to how customers interact with their bank. Rather than simply implementing digital tools, this forces institutions to:

  • Become a data and analytics leader with a global vision of customers and performance.
  • Improve the customer experience compete with the best digital experiences in other industries.
  • Encourage innovation adopting new ideas and processes that are more likely to set them apart.
  • Take advantage of modern technologies that stimulate efficiency and adaptability.
  • Upgrade systems and processes to make life easier for front-line staff and clients.
  • Requalify their workforce to confidently use digital tools and improve service.

A digitally-focused mindset can transform antiquated approaches to procedures such as identity verification and client acquisition and make your institution more efficient. But financial institutions also need to re-evaluate backend processes and policies to determine whether they support a seamless digital experience for customers.

Watch our on-demand webinar to learn more about how to overcome the most common obstacles.

Gain new customers

Meeting modern digital demands requires consistency, simplicity, and an engaging user experience throughout the customer lifecycle. Still, it’s easy to forget that the digital experience begins before they even become customers. Aim for the following to attract leads and convert them to customers:

Drive them to your bank’s website.

While customers always look to their community for where to bank, much of that community exists online. SEO and social media best practices will increase your visibility on the internet and support familiarity with your already existing bank. Ultimately, these techniques expand your reach.

Make a good impression with your website.

Time reported back in 2014 that it takes less than 15 seconds for visitors to judge your website. Attention span has not increased since then, so a solid first impression is imperative. Remember, as the face of your institution, your website signals your digital readiness, and many potential customers will see your website as a glimpse into your digital banking experience.

  • Deploy a user-friendly, ADA-compliant interface.

  • Add a visual touch to capture the visitor’s attention.

  • Prioritize search and navigation capabilities that include predictions and recommendations.

  • Post content that showcases your unique story, frontline staff biographies, community involvement and what sets you apart.

  • Offer product comparisons or virtual assistants that make shopping easy.

  • Include dynamic content based on customer profile and location.

  • Provide digital touchpoints for customer service, like online chat and live video.

Facilitate a simplified digital onboarding experience.

Customers are increasingly comparing their banking experience to that of less complicated or regulated companies like Netflix, Amazon and Apple. Therefore, a simplified digital approach to customer onboarding has been proven to reduce abandonment rates and lead to more accounts. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the need even more pressing, with digital account opening seeing a 16% growth rate while non-digital account opening has seen a 9% drop.

  • Provide a clear view of products and offers.

  • Customize the questions by interest and associated features.

  • Enable ID downloads for faster integration.

  • Require biometric authentication to build trust.

  • Establish a seamless digital experience between devices.

Digital Service and Engagement – Customer Loyalty

Customers who can’t find a digital experience in every element of their customer journey may look elsewhere. Mastering customer-centric banking techniques attracts new customers and turns existing customers into your best advocates.

Focus on genuine digital customer service.

Digital service doesn’t mean losing the human element that holds the emotional bonds that set you apart. In addition to providing an intuitive platform from the start, make banking with you easier with:

  • Chat features that allow customers to interact with your bank throughout the digital experience

  • Live video capabilities to make deeper connections and solve complex problems

  • Co-navigation capabilities to eliminate walkthroughs and customer frustrations

  • Chatbots to address these simple questions that do not require the expertise of a banker

Drive customer engagement.

As customer interactions have shifted from traditional to digital channels, banks need to tackle customer engagement primarily through their digital experience. Creating personalized and valuable interactions promotes retention and overall satisfaction. Gallup also found that engaged customers represent 37% more revenue.

  • Promote actionable educational content that makes it easier to understand financial well-being.

  • Conduct loyalty programs that offer incentives and motivate mutually beneficial behavior.

  • Gamify customer engagement, which makes taking control of financial health fun and rewarding.

  • Take a digital approach to cards, the most common transaction engagement of your customers.

Digital Banking Security – Protecting Customers

Customer experience can reign supreme, but a single security breach can undo the reputation banks have built with their customers and communities. How to offer this exceptional experience without adding unnecessary friction?

Meet the challenges of the digital security table.

The Federal Trade Commission received 1.4 million identity theft reports last year. Since fraudsters are constantly looking for customer information, most customers understand that security precautions need to be taken. For banks, some are non-negotiable. Simple questions like a mother’s maiden name will no longer suffice.

  • Require out-of-band authentication or one-time passcodes to minimize password risk.

  • Leverage card controls, digital issuance, and push provisioning to enhance card security.

  • Enable biometric identification such as fingerprint scanning to enable secure digital banking access.

Increase the challenges of digital security.

Given the need, financial institutions would be wise to further improve their digital security beyond the basics. Consider these techniques to protect consumer data, reduce fraud, and improve customer experience.

  • Use behavioral analysis to detect abnormal behavior and stop fraud in real time.

  • Check for password breaches and give customers the ability to change risky passwords.

  • Analyze passive biometric data such as keystroke patterns or pressure applied to a phone.

Emphasize and educate.

Beyond technology, knowledge is the best weapon to prevent cybercrime and protect your digital banking customers. Digital channels are the perfect place to educate customers about securing their information and detecting red flags. In so doing, education also promotes the convenience of using digital channels for those who may still be on the fence.

Digitally transform the customer lifecycle

A successful digital strategy must take all of the above into account, but retain a sense of flexibility and adaptability. Ultimately, if done right, it will improve the experience and efficiency of your customers and frontline staff.

Read our digital transformation whitepaper for a deeper dive into customer-centric banking, the digital transformation of core processing, and how to drive customer satisfaction.



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