We’re now several weeks into 2019, and digital continues to cause upheaval in the financial industry. Millennials are leading the charge, looking for more products on digital platforms instead of traditional brick and mortar locations. If we take a look at how the industry performed in 2018, and what the focus is for 2019, according to The Financial Brand, you’ll find that “easing the customer journey” is the top priority, with heavy investment into digital technologies.
We can help ease the customer journey through digital by enabling more services to be handled online with less hassle for consumers by pre-populating information we already have or can glean from third parties. Customers do their research online or via mobile. We must enable them to act immediately – activate at the point of excitement! Not only does this generate a call to action when they’re engaged, but it opens your services to a larger audience, minimizing the need for many large branches. But customers still use branches regularly, even when services are available online.
Learn more about how Vetter can help streamline your online account opening and strengthen onboarding here.
We understand that these trends may not apply to every geography today, but it will in the near future. If you look at the data, cities such as Atlanta (average age 33), Austin (average age 32.7), and Nashville (average age 34) are seeing substantial growth among the millennial population. Meanwhile, New York City’s average age is 36.2 and Los Angeles averages 35.6 years old. These, and other up-and-coming cities, are seeing a boom in millennial growth and entrepreneurship, particularly in tech companies according to Fast Company. Millennials are attracted by the number of tech jobs, start-up and business-friendly locations, and the lower cost of living these cities offer versus larger cities. Community banks and credit unions can clearly capitalize on these trends. It’s just a matter of listening to your target audience.
So, while your financial institution is journeying through digital transformation to draw new customers and grow your business, don’t forget about your branches with the highest traffic: your digital and mobile branches. These are highly desirable consumers and businesses! Weigh high-growth areas with younger, entrepreneurial populations appropriately to your financial institution’s needs, market to them and provide the services they need. Your digital branches are open 24 hours a day, and can be compared side-by-side with your competitors’ digital branches. Who wins the customer? The one that enables immediate action, meeting the customer when they are researching options and where they are. More and more customers, both business and retail, are saying they prefer online banking to branches.
Going forward branches will support digital means of accessing financial services, not the other way around. Although consumers are becoming more demanding regarding digital services, they still want a physical branch when they need it. But, don’t take my word for it, this editorial from CUinsight says it all: eliminate mobile deposit limits and allow online account opening but give me a branch when I need one. The need for digital transformation has never been greater. Will your financial institution get caught behind the eight ball? Vetter can help.