Consumers are completing more complicated tasks online with each passing year. From travel to taxes, people are increasingly comfortable using technology to search for the best deal, provide reams of personal information and make their individual preferences known.
But banks are woefully behind other industries in that online shift even as fewer customers visit the local branch. Consumers only tend to go online for the most basic banking functions, such as checking account balances and transferring funds; most still rely on human contact for more complicated issues like dispute resolution and financial advice. That is even the case in the UK and Australia, where consumers visit branches far less frequently than in the US and Canada.
The good news for banks is that consumers are ready and willing to shift more of their activity to digital channels. The bad news: there are few opportunities for them to do so today. For example, most banks don’t even provide ways for customers to open traditional accounts online. Some blame regulatory requirements and security issues, but in many cases the simple reason is a lack of appropriate investment in technology.
The Novantas 2018 Global Multi-Channel Survey provides striking evidence that banks must move quickly to enhance their digital capabilities. With a growing number of non-bank providers encroaching on their territory, the time to act is now.