In a blog last week, we shared some of Gartner’s latest insight on how to make the future of banking indispensable. It is indeed a critical topic. While banks delivered for clients and kept them afloat during the pandemic, industry dynamics are now shifting in unpredictable ways. Along with the advent of new competitors and technologies, client needs and behaviors are evolving. Future clients will have much greater flexibility to shop around between different providers, will require more relevant advice, and will need support that goes outside banking into new areas.
Banks must embrace 3 strategic imperatives to maintain their indispensability to future customers:
- Become More than a Bank – first, banks must develop both their banking and non-banking value propositions. Banks must mobilize to support customers’ banking needs but also a much wider range of personal, business, and life objectives.
- Be Relevant Across All Ways of Working – as customers engage banks on an array of new topics beyond traditional banking, they will engage as they please. Customers will connect with banks in live, virtual, and hybrid ways, and banks must deliver a world-class experience across all ways of working.
- Build Breakthrough Innovation Muscles – to keep pace with market dynamics, technology, customers, and competitors, banks must innovate more aggressively. Fast following is no longer fast enough.
Across these three imperatives, there are 7 more specific investment priorities that banks must adopt to maintain their status as indispensable providers. In last week’s submission, we reviewed four of those priorities aligned to the first imperative of becoming more than a bank. The remaining investment priorities are equally critical, and today we’ll share one that helps banks engage clients across all ways of working. We’ll discuss the final two investment priorities in a separate piece to appear soon.
So how can banks remain relevant to clients across different modes of engagement? As customers tap banks on an array of new topics beyond traditional banking, they will engage as they please. Customers will connect with banks in live, virtual, and hybrid ways, and banks must deliver a world-class experience across all ways of working. This will involve banks embracing a critical new investment priority:
- Deliver a Contextualized Client Experience Across All Channels – branch traffic is rebounding to pre-pandemic levels, with branch-first clients significantly more likely to be revenue-positive for banks than digital-first clients. The focus of banks must shift away from migrating clients to self-service to instead delivering a world-class experience across all ways of working. Clients are far more likely to be revenue-positive for the bank when they have a “contextualized” experience across all channels. A contextualized experience is defined as one in which the bank understands and anticipates their needs; delivers relevant advice; and respects their time as individuals. Banks must mobilize to deliver contextualization in the branch as well as the full spectrum of digital and self-service channels.
You can expect our thoughts soon on the remaining investment priorities to prepare for the future of banking. For more insight from our research on this topic, click here. Part I of this blog series can be found here. You can also access more research on delivering a contextualized digital client experience here. For ideas on how to keep financial services leaders ahead of market disruption, take a look at Techniques to Challenge Stale Assumptions. For more support to be the indispensable provider to your clients, please schedule an inquiry with our experts to discuss how Gartner can help.
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