These are the numbers to remember: 24-7-365. Customers want 24-hour-service, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The most cost-effective way to provide that is digitally.
But customers also want this 24-7-365 service to be proactive. And that requires big picture thinking.
At Accenture, we talk about the Everyday Bank. Indeed, we've written about it on the web pages of CIO Asia. (see:http://www.cio-asia.com/tech/industries/chinas-banks-need-to-offer-more-digital-solutions-to-customers/?page=2). The basic premise is this: An Everyday Bank is one that is embedded into the day-to-day digital life of their customers. The bank interacts regularly with a customer in a proactive way rather than just being a utility service accessed from time to time in a transactional manner. Why does this distinction matter? Look at customer behavior for your answer.
In China, customers who use online/mobile banking services have increased from 25 percent five years ago to more than 40 percent today, according to the China Internet Network Information Center. Total payments made via mobile devices rose from 120 million in 2010 to 1.67 billion in 2013, an average annual growth rate of more than 100 percent for three consecutive years, according to The People's Bank of China. Both CCB and ICBC's 2013 annual reports show their mobile banking customers each exceed 100 million. Mobile and internet banking is on the rise in China.
It is already well established in many other parts of the world. Indeed, 25 percent of UK consumers would consider using a pure digital bank - a bank with no branches or call centres that is only accessible via laptops and mobile devices, according to a recent survey of more than 3,600 UK current account customers conducted by Accenture.
From China to countries in Asean and India, Accenture is working with major banks to provide state-of -the art digital banking services. We have found that customers want an online experience that puts them in control and gives them the flexibility to choose, contrast, share and connect with their social and business groups. It also needs to be entertaining and fresh, just like clothing retail websites.
This has significant implications for a bank's operating model - customer service is no longer just about knowledge of the customers' relationship with the bank and supporting the customers' transaction processing needs (which is challenging enough for some in today's banking models). It also requires dynamic and personalised content, such as real-time product and service innovation, marketing, interactive advice, and connecting the customer to relevant ecosystems, which will surprise and delight them each time they interact with the digital bank. That last bit could be revolutionary to customers accustomed to long queues and disengaged service. Suddenly, their bank could be helping them get a loan, at the best price, or providing information on where to repair their car or who to contact for options on travel insurance.
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