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4 Questions Financial Institutions Should Ask When Shifting To a Digital-First Approach

The availability of digital and mobile experiences in financial services is nothing new, as the use of a smartphone for mobile banking continues to rise. According to Statista, there are 57 million mobile banking users in the US, representing just over 20% of all smartphone users in the US.

While banks have already been shifting away from providing services to brick-and-mortar locations to instead serving customers through digital channels for many years now, the pandemic has accelerated this transformation. As such, leaders of financial institutions need to ask themselves several questions as they move to a digital-first approach. Let’s explore some of these questions.

1. Which Features Should Stay and Which Ones Need To Go?

This is perhaps one of the toughest questions facing technology leaders in the financial services industry. Because screen size, memory capacity and other factors vary widely depending on the device, creating an identical experience for all customers is impossible.

Analytics tools measuring feature adoption and continuous customer research are needed to determine which features should stay or go. Streamlining the app so that file size does not “weigh down” the experience is key. Technology leaders need to decide on a continuing basis whether certain features deliver the right benefits, and if they do not, then they need to be removed or replaced.

2. How Can We Incorporate Security Without Adding Distractions?

Consumers are “scared to death about data security and privacy, but that doesn’t stop them from using online or mobile banking tools heavily,” notes Bill Streeter, editor of The Financial Brand. As such, financial institutions should continue to evaluate different security features for their mobile apps to determine which ones should be made obvious to users, and which ones should simply be hard at work in the background. Even the Federal Reserve notes that a secure mobile platform is necessary for mobile banking to be a dependable banking channel.

3. How Unique Does the Digital Experience on the Mobile App Truly Need To Be?

Over time, consumers have come to expect that certain features should be common across all financial apps. However, not all banks and financial institutions are created equal, and as such, their digital experiences should not be identical. Financial industry leaders need to decide how unique the app needs to be, and whether a new interface or experience will cause friction with users unaccustomed to particular menus, selections and graphics.

4. Should We Build New Features In-House or Sync up With an External Technology Partner?

Financial institutions need to continually refine their digital offerings in order to increase engagement with the mobile app, thereby deepening their relationships with customers. However, they may not be able to do this on their own. While financial institutions might have an eye for industry trends, they may instead decide to augment their efforts by relying on an experienced, external technology partner to help maintain and optimize the app. In addition, they may also develop features that integrate seamlessly into the firm’s existing digital platform. 

Lumin Digital is redefining digital banking through its proprietary member engagement platform. Through the utilization of member data and predictive analytics, banks and credit unions can create unique experiences for customers, delivering a truly personalized journey and connected relationship.