Transforming financial behaviors: Part two

As seen in part one of my series, I’m an advocate of contactless payments for the benefits they provide to consumers, merchants and issuers – not to mention opening the door for mobile payments. And there is one other way I think contactless could be the catalyst to transform digital financial behavior: getting people using banking apps.

Make the most of digital

Another trend that was present in the UK and also seems to be the case here, is for banks to be closing their branches. Yes, this is a worry for remote communities, and some data suggests business lending also suffers, but this is also an opportunity for digital banking to become the norm. And for brands, that means another channel to cement that customer relationship.

Whether you’re a traditional bricks-and-mortar institution pushing customers online, or a digital-only service provider looking for acquisition, now is the time to get people using your digital channel.

Adoption of any technology will follow a curve from early users to laggards. And typically picking up digital behaviors will be a cumulative process, as comfort and trust in this channel increases. Therefore, getting your customers using contactless could be a gateway to more digital interactions.

Benefits all round

This could benefit your brand in numerous ways:

  • The repeat notifications from contactless transactions keep your brand present and associated with reassurance and control (forging that sticky, emotional connection).
  • Making your online banking app essential for tracking payments will deepen customer engagement and make it harder to switch.
  • Screen time in the app can be used to surface other products and increase cross-sell opportunities.
  • Online services should be cheaper to provide, meaning employees can be redeployed to deliver premium rather than day-to-day servicing or use their creative thinking to find new revenue streams and innovations.

Putting my consumer hat back on, this also benefits me. As app usage grows, this will be a key differentiator of service, and competition between providers should mean the user experience gets better and better. Coming from the seamless app experiences of Barclaycard, NatWest and Halifax in the UK, to a somewhat clunky experience here, I’m certainly looking forward to it.

Any other ideas? If you’d like to chat more about anything I’ve raised here, please get in touch. Click here for Part one of my series.