Try to recall, if you can, what banking looked like thirty years ago. Banking was the high street, the bank manager, paper statements through the post, cash from cash machines. It was Barclays, Abbey National, Bradford and Bingley, The Woolwich and HSBC. If you were to ask the general public to draw a picture of a banker you would likely get a man in a black pinstripe suit, with a moustache and bowler hat, wooden-topped umbrella hooked over his arm.
In 2019, you are as likely to get a picture of someone staring at a screen of ones and zeros. High street banking has changed. ‘Challenger Banks’, like Tandem, Monzo and Metro have infiltrated both the high street and the hi-tech millennial generation. Monzo have gained over 2 million customers in four years, adding 35,000 new current account customers each week.
It is a change being mirrored in other areas of the financial services sector, a sector which has lagged behind in terms of its use of technology and which now has a preponderance of businesses facing a ‘change or die’ moment.
The change is being driven by new generations who exhibit new behaviours and want to do things in a new way. Currently, those new generations make up a fraction of the audience financial services firms covet. In the future, they will be all there is.
The desired user journey of this new generation is different and if they do not get that user journey then alternatives are readily available, waiting to service them.
If you don’t have the option of live chat so users can get in touch with you on quick queries, then someone else does. If you don’t offer a mobile experience that is quick and convenient, then someone else does. If you feel like the ancient incumbent to your clients then another business feels like the new kid on the block.
The user journey has changed and businesses must change the journey they offer to match it. Those that do not will be seen to be offering a less-than-adequate customer experience and customers will vote with their feet in response.
This change in how you offer your services from a client’s perspective eclipses the similar need to revolutionise how you offer your services behind the scenes. Your back office, platform and middleware layers also likely need updating, if recent high-profile replatforming reports are anything to go by. This need can be outsourced and delivered by others. You are the only entity truly capable of assessing and fixing your user journey and client experience.
The first impact of failing to do this will be a client experience that is steadily perceived to be getting worse. The second impact will be clients acting on that dip. The final impact will be inevitable.
Avoiding that scenario starts with addressing your user journey and bringing it in line with modern expectations. ‘Change or die’ time has arrived.