Digital banking cannot replace customer service, study finds

Digital Services in Banking

A study by Bain and Company looked at mobile phone use and banking in the United States, finding that, unsurprisingly, more people than last year are using phones and tablets for banking services. But further investigation found that one of the biggest reasons consumers prefer their phones is to avoid physically going to banks, using digital services to avoid interactions. If banks can turn their focus on customer service instead of routine transactions, customers and profits may follow.

The study looked at what type of person uses their mobile phone when banking, finding that affluent people tend to be the most likely users. At the same time, affluent customers are also the ones least impressed with digital banking, instead wanting more personal and tailored services.

For many banks and financial institutions, the affluent customer often acts as a promoter on behalf of banks, bringing in additional customers. By replacing routine transactions with digital services and instead concentrating on servicing customers, banks may find stronger loyalty that could lead to higher profits.

An American Banker article explains, “branches will not disappear, but their role must shift from high-cost processing of routine transactions to guidance, sales and high-value servicing, often through lighter, but sturdier formats.”

Using software tools to make this transition

As digital forms of banking keep customers away from physical branches, customer service becomes an even more important aspect of a financial institution’s offerings. Case management software can give banks the tools needed to keep track of a customer’s expectations and financial history, no matter how familiar a client is. By creating stronger relationships, banks may find a larger customer base, and increased profits.

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