The moment that… banking got personal

October 16, 2017
Industry News
Content Provided By:

Kantar TNS

The world of banking is evolving at a blistering pace. Digitisation and challenges from FinTechs require even the most traditional banks to move with the times. It’s no wonder banks are feeling nervous: the rise of FinTechs and challenger banks have chipped away at market share by disrupting the way people bank with a focus on simplicity and value. Banks are responding to the needs of smartphone-savvy younger people by developing their digital services and closing branches: but apps cannot dispense financial advice. There is still a need for human, often face-to-face contact, particularly for older customers.

Plus, what once was viewed as loyalty has been revealed to be inertia: most banking customers fail to close accounts they no longer see value in simply to avoid life admin, whilst purchasing new products elsewhere. This shows how banks struggle to cross-sell, meaning they must find a balance between efforts to retain and acquire customers, particularly those attracted by offers of a seamless and personalised digital experience.

Banks must simplify and digitize to keep up with people’s needs, but they must also revisit their role in specific moments of their customers’ lives to guard against challenges from competitors. A seamless, customer-centric approach with great products is nothing unless it is based on meaningful moments of interaction. The opportunity for banks is huge: in an age of big data, arguably, no one should know their customers as well as a bank. Access to spending habits should tell them volumes about who we are and what support or products we may need. The hot house of intense competition looks set to create some of the most interesting innovation to date. What does this look like for a sector in flux?

Focus on people’s needs, not products
The wealth of customer data that banks hold is a treasure trove of useful marketing intelligence. Using that data to personalise your marketing and product offers can pay dividends, allowing you to predict and respond to individual needs as they evolve. Not only that, it allows banks to give their customers sound financial advice at the right moment, something an app would struggle to do

Westpac brings together data and communications from across the customer journey to create a single view that seamlessly integrates multi-channel customer interactions. Customers still want personalised one-to-one service from their bank, but this had become impossible for Westpac with one staff member to every 500-600 customers. Westpac created 'Symphony', a tool which brings together data, learns from behaviour and customer feedback, and creates targeted and more meaningful communications. All communications are connected across channels to create a seamless conversation, so customers don't have to re-start their discussion at each interaction, whether they're in branch, reading an email or banking online.

Optimise your customer journey
Banks must identify the moments that are most important to their varied customer base and build their customer experience to capitalise on them. By removing moments of friction with a focus on simplicity, banks can optimise their customer journeys, delivering positive experiences that reinforce a coherent brand experience and leads to increased retention and acquisition through advocacy. Not only that, but a deeper understanding of those touchpoints will allow you to surprise and delight customers along the way. If banks are to become the chosen brand, they must understand that brand equity is only ever as good as the last experience, and it is the experiences that define brand perceptions.

A whole new world for banking
As the world of banking digitises, there are more and more opportunities to create personalised moments with customers. It will always be a balance between innovating too quickly, alienating traditional customers, or being too slow and being left behind. However, banks that embrace big data, optimise customer journeys and differentiate in ways that benefit their customers, whilst coherently delivering against their brand promise, will lead the way.

Visit here to read the full version of the article
About Kantar TNS
Kantar TNS is one of the world’s largest research agencies with experts in over 90 countries. With expertise in innovation, brand and communication, shopper activation and customer relationships we help our clients identify, optimise and activate the moments that matter to drive growth for their business.
We are part of Kantar, one of the world’s leading data, insight and consultancy companies.
Find out more at