Our Viewpoints

Our Viewpoint

Leveraging Self-Service Channels for Sales and Communications

February 22, 2013

While online banking adoption rates gradually level off, online banking usage does continue to rise at staggering rates. Early adopters are giving way to more cautious or skeptical consumers who want to take a look before they leap and who are finally coming on board. Of course, concerns about Internet security and privacy are continuous threats to adoption.

Now that a large number of consumers have embraced self-service channels such as Internet and mobile banking, it’s time for financial institutions to move beyond marketing these channels as strictly alternate transaction gateways to leveraging these channels for sales and communications efforts.

Using these channels to communicate with consumers is already happening organically. Examining your customers’ channel preferences – or simply asking them – allows you to use email, text messaging, Internet banners or secure messaging to complete service requests, send alerts or update consumers on such things as loan approvals or late payments. Many Internet and mobile banking solutions offer users the ability to set the types of alerts they wish to receive (low balance, NSF, transactions over a certain amount, etc.) via the channels they choose.

It may be tricky for financial institutions to leverage self-service channels for cross-sell, but when done right, marketing through these channels can be an effective and cost-efficient marketing effort. To do it right, use software that allows you to review channel usage and buying profiles, and control the flow of messages (type and frequency) to specific channels. The upfront cost of the software will be recouped by eliminating redundant and annoying marketing to consumers by pushing relevant messages to them where and when they choose to interact with you.

Regardless of your focus – whether honoring your customers’ communication preferences or leveraging self-service channels for more effective cross-sell – delivering a consistent experience across all channels, including the branch, is paramount. As the next evolution in self-service begins to take hold – online account opening and person-to-person (P2P) payments – it’s important that consumers experience the same standards, workflow and communication regardless of where they decide to open an account or transfer money.

With that, financial institutions must not be complacent about staying on top of the evolving self-service landscape. Continuous investments in security and emerging technology such as online account opening, P2P payments and remote deposit capture will need to be made in order for institutions to maintain their reputation for technological innovation and customer loyalty.

The bottom line is that the mobile and Internet banking revolution will continue to move forward with or without you. In order to grow your customer base and retain existing customers, you must constantly look ahead and continue to invest heavily. By leveraging these channels to maximum return, this trend can be a win-win for you and your customers.

Author

Andy Lapp
Director, Product Marketing

Andy Lapp has been with D+H for seven years. In his current role as director of product marketing, Andy manages marketing activities for multiple D+H product lines, including core, business intelligence, branch automation, self-service, payments and enterprise content management solutions. He develops product positioning and messaging, plans go-to-market strategies for the successful launch of new products, creates marketing tools for use by sales and to maintain proper product branding to target markets.