By any measure, virtual banks have redefined the banking experience for consumers over the last decade or so. The initial burst of interest is beginning to wane some, and if banks want to continue attracting new customers, they need to find new ways to add value.
Three areas that are ripe for enhancement are artificial intelligence and analytics, open banking, and simplification of the customer experience. Combined, these three represent a solid path toward realizing the next level of value.
AI-Driven Banking and Deep Analytics
Artificial intelligence and constant account analysis drive personalization. In an era where banking with standard brick and mortar institutions feels cold and faceless, a virtual bank can create a deeply personal banking experience by leveraging collected customer data, machine learning, and natural language processing.
With enhanced artificial intelligence and natural language processing, banking apps can add intelligent virtual assistants that can help customers with very specific questions about their accounts and get useful, personalized insights about their spending and saving habits.
Machine learning allows banks to predict what services their customers are likely to want to access in a given banking session, enabling the banking app to give quick and easy access to exactly what the customer needs without them needing to ask.
As the lines between online services blur in other spheres, consumers want the same thing from their bank. People want single-point access for all of their banking and investment accounts, as well as their mortgages and credit cards. Third-party digital wallet services are already doing this in the financial sphere, linking accounts from multiple providers in one place. Virtual banks that add similar features stand to do very well with new customer acquisition.
Customers want to move their money around quickly, between accounts, between institutions, pay bills, and send money peer to peer without needing to use multiple apps. Virtual banks can lead the space in seamless, cross-platform transactions.
Simplification of the Customer Experience
Part of the reason for the success of the virtual bank lies in the simplicity of its offerings. Compared to standard banks, virtual banks offer a limited number of streamlined services. People prefer this transparency and ease of use.
As virtual banks add services, they’ll need to remember their roots if they want to maintain the simplicity that initially attracted their customers.
Predictive app interfaces can simplify the customer experience. Machine learning allows the app to modify its interface based on customer usage patterns. Over time the app molds itself to each customer’s preferences, giving them fast access to the services they use most often.
Banks can also help customers intelligently search their voluminous transaction lists. Natural language processing allows customers to find specific transactions quickly, even if they’re missing details. Delivering exactly what the customer wants when they want it will go a long way toward winning new customers and keeping clients.
About: Mr. Rory Brown has focused on financial technology and investment management for 30+ years. Rory Brown is currently working on a new app that will help consumers navigate online banking. The app will connect clients with the best virtual banks in the world, where they can get comparisons on rates for home loans, auto loans, and more.
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