One of our favorite questions to ask is, “What do customers want from their banks?” While there’s not always a straightforward answer, there’s a few things we’ve learned working as an intermediary between banks and the people that use them.
I thought about this after reading Jeff Marsico’s blog “Are Bank Products Fair, Simple and Transparent?” While Jeff deals largely with corporate banking I think his general question is perfectly applied to retail banking products.
Let’s take a minute to consider Apple and their offerings. The Apple advantage traditionally hasn’t been in the horsepower of their hardware or the potential of their software. Ultimately it’s been in their user-friendliness, simplicity and design — and its propelled them to be the first company in history valued in the Trillions.
Ok, so banks don’t sell iPhones. But the premise for banking products and their appeal to customers is pretty similar. Customers know exactly what they’re getting with a piece of the latest Apple gear. They don’t need to pore over user manuals to figure out how it works. And even with the high price tag, the average Apple fan feels it’s an absolutely fair value purchase.
Here’s what banks can do to appeal to their customers using these principles:
Keep Banking Products Fair
Sometimes in the chase for profitability, fairness is set on the back burner. Creating a product as lucrative as possible doesn’t necessarily translate to a customer feeling valued by their bank. And with other banks shifting their mentality to be more “customer-centric” it behooves your institution to follow suit.
So what is a “fair” banking product? It’s a product that offers the opportunity for a profitable relationship with a customer, where the value is evident and appealing. Milking them for every dime they’re worth will do a poor job of fostering loyalty and ultimately, a long, fruitful relationship for both your bank and its customers.
Of course, expectations are ever changing and what may have been fair last week goes underappreciated the next. That’s why it’s important for your bank to have flexibility with changing its rates and fees. These are likely to have the biggest impact on a customers perception of “fairness” assuming your product provides value in other areas.
Simplicity is Super
You probably remember the “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” commercials. The cool, casual Mac, vs. the stuffy, nerdy PC. The underlying message was PCs are cumbersome and convoluted whereas Macs are easy to use and straightforward. Oh, and cool of course.
It’s pretty unlikely banks will ever market a product for its “coolness.” But its simplicity, on the other hand, is a huge selling point. This especially impactful with complex product bundles. Ensuring your promotions have easy-to-understand qualifications will make them easier to engage with for a broader population segment.
It’s also useful to keep offers themselves straightforward. Customizing these offers to reduce complexity can be difficult with legacy software, but by implementing FinTech solutions banks can act quickly to ensure their promotions and offers are simple, and their banking products are accessible.
The Importance of Transparency
More than ever, customers want insight into exactly why they have incurred a certain fee, or been disqualified from a certain promotion. It’s a common tactic simply waive a fee to maintain a good relationship, but what if you could simply justify it by showing the customer the specific justification.
Technology is powering more transparency than ever before. And just in time too — customers are growing increasingly used to accessing behind the scenes information with the rise of challenger banks, and big tech companies.
By offering transparent banking products, you can build trust and loyalty with your customers, and reduce the time you waive fees in error.
Jeff was on to something. Offering fair, simple and transparent products is essential to your bank’s success. But it’s not just for corporate banks — retail banks and their customers can reap the rewards of this strategy.
It’s sometimes difficult to do, though, with the limits to the technology that some banks face. Luckily, FinTech solutions like Zafin exist to make this easier to accomplish. Want to get started? Reach out to us today and find out how we can help make your banking products fair, simple and transparent.
Zafin (@zafin) is a leading financial technology provider that enables banks to form richer, more personalized client relationships. Built from the ground up for financial services, its platform empowers banks to enhance revenue and operational efficiency. Founded in 2002, Zafin sits among North America’s top FinTech companies, and is trusted by retail and corporate units at some of the largest banks worldwide. Headquartered in Toronto with global offices, Zafin has a proven track record with a 100 percent client retention rate as validation.
Cam is the Digital Communications and Marketing Coordinator at Zafin. With a background in journalism and a passion for blogging, Cam strives to tell compelling digital stories. At Zafin he will share the latest trends and news in the FinTech world, and share the Zafin role as leader in the industry. Follow him on Twitter @CamSmoth