The quest for Omnichannel continues

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23 January 2015
Bob Meara
Earlier this month, Celent published a report providing an analysis of an October 2014 survey among North American banks and credit unions. The effort sought to understand the state of retail banking channel systems. It should be no surprise to find that revenue growth broadly remains bank’s #1 strategic priority. Or, that digital banking channel development and omnichannel delivery are statistically tied with customer analytics in being considered the most important technologies in delivering revenue growth. What may come as a surprise is how far most banks have to go in terms of actually delivering what they say is important. Here’s one example; mobile banking. Everyone knows mobile is so hot right now, yet many institutions have difficulty monetizing those investments. That’s because precious few sales are closed in the mobile channel (at present) and institutions struggle with proper attribution when multiple channels are involved. What seems clear is that institutions find several compelling reasons for the mobile channel’s high priority, and cost reduction is the least likely reason. Institutions across the asset tiers have a similar strategic basis for mobile banking. However, valuing mobile for its ability to attract new customers is a sentiment largely held among large banks. [caption id="attachment_4700" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Source: Celent survey of North American financial institutions, October 2014, n=156 Source: Celent survey of North American financial institutions, October 2014, n=156[/caption] Customer engagement and upselling customers through the mobile channel? That’s a tall order for most banks when historic mobile channel development investment has been all about migrating “low-value” transactions. Even if consumers would be disposed to enroll in products or services on their device (a reasonably fast growing trend) precious few banks even offer that ability. [caption id="attachment_4701" align="aligncenter" width="773"]Source: Celent survey of North American financial institutions, October 2014, n=156 Source: Celent survey of North American financial institutions, October 2014, n=156[/caption] Moreover, simply having the ability means little if the user experience is less than satisfactory. A future Celent report will explore digital account opening experiences among large US banks. The quest for omnichannel continues indeed – and will be continuing for some time.

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