Raising the Bar in Multichannel Banking

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25 October 2013

Case Studies in Multichannel Innovation


Banks are clearly looking for revenue growth, but how do they improve sales results in an increasingly multichannel world? How can banks become less reliant on the branch network for revenue generation? How can digital channels become powerful customer engagement platforms? There are many aspects to doing multichannel right.

Multichannel banking has a long way to go. Silos rule, and most banks are tackling it one channel at a time. There is good reason for this. Banks have plenty of room to improve in individual channels. For example, most banks are still missing online and/or mobile features and are plowing ahead to determine the cost-to-benefit ratio of building beyond core transactional functionality. In the report Raising the Bar in Multichannel Banking: Case Studies in Multichannel Innovation, Celent reviews the state of multichannel banking and highlights best practices in a series of case studies.

The need to raise the bar in multichannel banking is manifest, driven by consumers’ growing use of multiple channels. In a June 2013 Celent US consumer survey, for example, just two-thirds of consumers used a branch in a month, while a full third used mobile banking. Over the same period, however, nearly 80% interacted with their bank online.

“Multichannel banking is obviously important, and many banks have made inroads towards making it a reality,” says Jacob Jegher, Research Director with Celent’s Banking Group and coauthor of the report. “It’s quite common for banks to look for low-hanging fruit; that is, examples of multichannel innovation that provide value to the consumer and bang for the buck to the financial institution.”

“Most banks are on the path to improving user experience in individual channels and across channels,” says Bob Meara, Senior Analyst with Celent’s Banking Group and coauthor of the report. “This is a large exercise, but a critical one. Customers, not banks, will determine how each channel is used and for what purpose.”

This report examines the state of multichannel banking. It delves into the mandate that banks take on as they work to right-size the branch network, sell and service in digital channels, and grow self-service channel usage. It then presents case studies of five banks that have embarked on innovative multichannel projects. The report concludes with a series of recommendations for financial institutions to raise the bar in multichannel banking.