With the wants and needs of account holders changing regularly, financial institutions (FIs) need to consider ways to differentiate their services to cultivate customer loyalty and retention. In this digital age when everything is accessible at your fingertips, customers have come to expect more from their FI, often searching for more individualized services or personalized, value-add products. FIs can retain customers and meet the future demands of Gen Z by thinking outside of traditional value-add products. By providing engaging and unique offerings to their customers, FIs improve the mobile experience, inspire customer loyalty and provide exceptional, mobile-ready quality.
These ever-evolving expectations have become more and more significant in a socially-distant environment, where many FIs are unable to meet regular banking demands let alone satisfy the in-person interactions some customers crave.
Additionally, the customer base itself is changing. As more members of Generation Z (Gen Z) enter the workforce every year, they will look to use seamless, fast and personalized digital experiences, including those around managing and sending money. Consisting of approximately 68 million in the U.S., this population segment is becoming progressively powerful in the financial services industry. This is why: 98% of Gen Z own a smartphone, according Global Web Index, and 79% of Gen Z use P2P payments at least once a month, according to a study conducted by Billtrust. This growing activity will affect FIs that are unprepared to meet the needs of an increasingly cashless and mobile-focused generation.
Personalized Interaction to Enhance Customer Experience
Meeting those needs is not always about where they are currently; it can also be about providing exceptional quality to satisfy their changing expectations. For FIs, this quality can be achieved by offering account holders differentiated services that best support their day-to-day lives. For example, as we grow into a more digital-centric society, we can expect the appetite for digital interactions to escalate and many individuals to seek embedding personal, unique experiences into their often mundane mobile and digital interactions. As mobile applications become more essential to our personal lives, customers are missing the personal experiences that can be easily woven into those interactions.
Yet, FIs are in an excellent position to make a lasting impression by offering the opportunity to personalize digital interaction. Though paying for your friend’s meal or purchasing a graduation present in-store may be familiar, digital money transfers allow these transactions to still take place, without the in-person requirements. With the evolution of money transfers, FIs have the opportunity to allow customers to weave personalized experiences into everyday digital payments, meeting customers where they are, while adding a new dimension to a traditionally monotonous task.
Recently, U.S. Bank launched eCards, in collaboration with Zelle and Vouchr, to allow consumers to send and receive money in a personalized and engaging manner. U.S. Bank was the first Zelle bank to launch this service, providing customers with the ability to add more than 300 eCard designs to accompany the money they send through Zelle, celebrating special occasions, such as birthdays and holidays, as well as everyday events. By offering this opportunity, FIs can provide account holders with a way to personally interact, while effectively competing with other money transferring networks.
Repeat Customers Are Engaged, Loyal Customers
After providing customers with this kind of value-add product, what else can FIs do to ensure customers continue to use their FI for this type of transaction?
By prioritizing engagement and loyalty, FIs can create an experience that encourages repeated, frequent action. For example, with those factors in mind, FIs should consider offering customers the ability to customize and share payments socially, rather than simply the action of transferring money digitally. Because digital customers often tend to be the most profitable customers when actively engaged, it is crucial to provide them with an experience that maintains their excitement and motivates them to continue their interactions with their FI. Simply put, engagement and loyalty are key to strengthening the relationship between account holders and a FI.
With solutions that work to increase customer satisfaction through personalization, FIs can improve customer loyalty and retention. Vouchr’s data shows 40% of customers who used the eCard service have become repeat customers within a 30-day period. More comforting is the fact that FIs do not have to go through arduous implementations that take weeks or months. FIs can easily add this service within a matter of days. This way, FIs can offer a value-added, personalized service that encourages account holders to complete more transactions with the FI.
The Bottom Line
By implementing a digital solution that meets the needs of customers through a quality, digital experience that encourages them to complete more future money transfers, FIs can compete effectively while building loyalty and engagement. As a mobile-savvy, P2P-minded generation places more feature demands on the companies they do business with, FIs must continue to prioritize digital innovation and enhancing the mobile experience.
Lanny Byers is the Chief Revenue and Strategy Officer of Vouchr, a fintech firm that has created a SaaS platform that allows users to add a personalized eCard to their P2P transactions. With more than 30 years of experience in the payments industry, Byers is responsible for global operations, sales, corporate development, marketing, pricing, partnerships, strategy and revenue management.