Mercator Perspectives

Recurring Themes in Banking and Banking Channels

As we look back at key takeaways from the recent BAI Retail Delivery Conference, and ATM, Debit & Prepaid Forum, there were several themes that weaved their way through various presentations and conversations.

First, there is considerable traction in moving common transactions away from the branch and call-center channels toward self-service channels, particularly ATMs, online banking, and mobile banking. Such a migration can equate to a savings of $1-to$2 per transaction, and sometimes more. In addition, with the use of new-generation ATMs and mobile banking products, customer satisfaction can remain high, resulting in a win-win arrangement for customers, members, and financial institutions of all sizes.

At the core of this premise, however, is the desire and need to serve customers and members when, where, and how they want, and not force them to use a particular channel. This multi-channel collaboration offers choice and flexibility for all, resulting in more efficient and effective processes and customer service.

There also is a movement underway to squeeze more actionable information out of existing data through customer and profitability analytics, providing deep knowledge and insight into customer wants, needs, and behaviors. This transformation toward a more customer-centric knowledge base is still in its infancy at many financial institutions, but is proving to be a critical success factor for many. An ability to better transform data to information is leading toward increased relevance of FI products and services, greater customer engagement, and improved profitability for FIs.

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