Around one in five UK adults have low financial capability, meaning they lack confidence navigating financial matters and the digital world. If this wasn’t enough, high inflation is putting more pressure on financially vulnerable people without the resources or skills to protect themselves from rising costs. As a result, there’s now a growing imperative – both societal and regulatory – on financial services (FS) providers to support customers and improve their financial wellbeing.
Digital banking solutions offer FS providers a comprehensive way to improve customers’ financial health. By offering guidance and support on money management tools, FS organisations can help customers become more financially resilient. Read on to learn more and discover the future of digital banking, where customer wellbeing is king.
The problem with today’s digital banking services
Digital banking services are on the rise, but the industry is reaching an impasse. Leading challenger banks have seen massive user growth, signalling a strong consumer preference for innovative tools to manage their money better. Digital banking solutions are also popular with FS providers themselves, as they’re able to prevent fraud more effectively and enable personalised customer experiences.
However, one in five Britons lack vital digital skills, meaning they’re unable to access financial services independently. Furthermore, research from the Inclusion Foundation found one in four UK adults will experience financial exclusion due to a lack of support, causing emotional distress and further financial strain from expensive debt products. And with the number of in-person branches dwindling daily, yet more people could experience financial distress.
The future of digital banking must be inclusive. Yet, at present, older people and those with the lowest incomes are in jeopardy of being left behind if FS providers don’t do more to accommodate them.
What’s driving the imperative to improve financial wellbeing for customers?
Last year, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) launched the Consumer Duty, requiring financial service firms to educate customers and support their financial needs more effectively. Surveys show some people with low financial literacy fall into debt from misunderstanding their financial options. The FCA hopes the Duty will ensure customers are better equipped to navigate financial situations and work towards their goals by placing higher standards on FS providers.
The Duty comes at a pivotal moment for UK consumers, many of whom are struggling with the cost of living crisis. With around 13 million people living on low incomes, rising costs are highlighting the importance of strong money management and the extra support some need to get by.
As a result, FS providers must find ways to support their customers and offer resources to improve their financial wellbeing, defined as:
● Having a good relationship with money
● Being resilient to financial shocks
● The ability to achieve long-term financial goals
● The ability to access financial support easily
What does the future of digital banking look like?
Digital banking services must become more accessible for customers with lower digital or financial literacy. Doing so will involve adopting intelligent digital banking solutions that simplify money management and empower customers’ financial wellbeing, no matter their existing digital skills or financial expertise.
For example, customers’ main financial priority is their bills and whether they can do more with their money day to day. With the right software solutions, banks and building societies can help customers have a better relationship with their money by offering reminders about their financial status. Already, challenger bank Revolut offers instant payment notifications that inform customers about their transactions and daily spending limits. In turn, customers can understand how their real-time spending affects their budget and whether they need to save more in the near future.
Intelligent software solutions can also help FS providers analyse in-house data and segment customers with particular purchasing sentiments and eligibility for certain financial products. Then, by using targeted digital marketing campaigns and push notifications, banks can help customers learn about their options to borrow or save towards their financial goals. The same data can be used to establish a feedback loop and determine which products and services are popular with customers across different demographics. Capital One is a leading FS brand in this space, having revolutionised its customer experience via data-driven marketing techniques and more personalised product recommendations.
Improving customers’ financial resilience involves both educating customers about their leverage and risk profile, as well as encouraging customers to take advantage of savings accounts and tax-free benefits. FS providers can improve their customers’ financial wellbeing by establishing a strong onboarding experience, so customers understand their obligations and financial opportunities, how to meet them and what to do if they need further support.
Finally, banking providers must ensure customers can access financial support or product information at any time and via any method. Per FCA’s Duty, consumers must be at most one click away from human support. This means building an omnichannel digital presence that streamlines the customer experience and remembers queries as customers switch from one channel to the next. It also means creating a rich bank of resources to educate customers on ways to save money and build strong budgeting habits over time, so customers can get quick answers to common questions.
The future of digital banking with ieDigital
ieDigital have delivered customer-centric solutions for the biggest names in financial services for over 25 years.
By putting customer needs front and centre, we transform the customer’s entire online experience with digital banking solutions that drive customer acquisition, long-term retention and deliver tailored experiences at scale.
Learn more about our Interact Application Suite and what it can do for your financial institution by getting in touch today.