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Improving Customer Experiences

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders, the demand for no-contact, convenient services are at a record high. Mobile banking is one of those services that consumers are relying on to keep their finances in order from the comfort of home. Being able to pay bills, transfer funds between accounts, deposit checks, and even apply for loans or credits cards by the click of a smart phone has become more of a necessity than a luxury.

According to Fidelity National Information Services (FIS), mobile banking traffic rose 85% in April 2020, and mobile banking registrations increased by 200%. These increases are directly linked to the shut down of banks due to the coronavirus as well as the fact that many customers were frequently checking their accounts for stimulus payments directly deposited into their accounts by the government.

This sudden shift to online and mobile banking is expected to continue post-COVID as customers become familiarized and comfortable with the convenience it provides. Now is an opportune time for financial institutions to improve or fine-tune their apps to maximize engagement, retain customers, and gain new customers.

One of the most important aspects in a banking mobile app is that it is user friendly and consumer focused. It needs to provide the consumer with a personalized experience based on their individual banking needs. Analytics should be used to determine how consumers are using the app and using that information to customize it to best fit their needs and optimize engagement. It should be easy to navigate, with a straightforward and uncluttered menu of options.

While it may be tempting to focus on all the bells and whistles that the app provides, it’s important to simplify the layout, focusing on the customers’ priorities so they don’t have to scroll through too much clutter to find what they’re looking for.

It is also important to provide assistance when needed, ideally as a live chat option for optimum service. The human element will always prevail over standardized FAQs or searchable help topics. While most consumers don’t have the time or patience to call and wait on hold to have their questions answered, they will welcome the opportunity to get immediate assistance via a chat box.

The human chat option should be reliably available when consumers need it. If hours for live chat are limited, those hours should be prominently listed, and an offline option should be offered outside of those hours for added convenience.

Another important factor for customers evaluating mobile banking options is security and reputation. Storing documents electronically provides added security compared to physical storage, yet many consumers, especially in the older generation, are hesitant to trust technology.

One way to appease this mistrust is to offer a multi-factor authentication feature such as a generated one-time password in addition to the standard password. Customers can also opt to have real time texts or email alerts when there is unusual activity on their accounts. The activity can be defined by the customer, such as a withdrawal larger than a specified amount. Another way to ensure security is end-to-end encryption, which prevents a third-party from accessing data sent from the consumer to the financial institution.

With these factors taken into consideration, mobile banking app can be a tremendous asset to both the customer and the financial institution, creating a streamlined, convenient experience.

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