Online banking is now the go-to channel for checking account balances, transferring funds, and researching bank products for more than half of the U.S. population, according to "U.S. Consumer Preferences in Retail Banking Distribution, Part 2: Digital Channels," a new report published today by Novarica.
"With certain online banking interactions up over 25 percent over the last five years and mobile interactions gaining ground quickly (albeit from a smaller base), banks must look to streamline the consumer experience across all bank channels," said Madhavi Mantha, head of banking research at Novarica and co-author of the report with Novantas partner Kevin Travis and principal Ethan Teas. "Banks can no longer afford to view digital channels as alternate channels. They must be treated as a primary destination."
"Banks face a critical balancing act with regards to mobile delivery specifically. On the one hand, if they fail to invest adequately, they risk being left behind as the mobile device joins the Internet as a central conduit for the consumer banking relationship. Yet on the other hand, scarce resources could be wasted on features and functionality that ultimately do not improve customer acquisition, retention or relationship profitability," Travis said. "It is not too early to begin preparing for the day (inevitable, in our view) when the volume of high-value remote banking transactions goes from a trickle to a flood. For the many banks just now getting into the game, this calls for building a customer-informed mobile foundation that looks beyond features and functions du jour."
"The IT investments required by banks to upgrade their online banking platform to the next level and to deploy or enhance a solid mobile banking solution in order to meet evolving customer expectations are not insignificant. The good news is that banks should be able to leverage certain investments—customer segmentation and analytics, sales automation, and workflow, for example—across both physical and digital channels," Mantha added.