IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME

The technology explosion of the past decade has provided consumers with a multitude of ways to handle banking matters from the branch to ATMs and PC and mobile banking.  With this increased menu of channels, it would be logical to assume that some methods may fall into disuse.  However, consumers just seem to assimilate the new channels into their banking repertoire, according to a recent survey by SYNERGISTICS Research entitled, Omni-Channel Strategies for Financial Services.  According to findings from the survey of 1,000 Internet households, the proportion of consumers using a larger number of channels has increased dramatically over the past five years.  Three-fourths in the current survey use four to six of the channels included in the analysis (branches, ATMs, automated telephone systems, telephone calls to representatives, PC banking, and mobile banking).  This compares with four in ten who did so in 2011, representing an increase of 80% in five years.  Only one in seven in the current survey use three banking methods and one-tenth use one to two, both representing declines from 2011.

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Genie M. Driskill, COO of SYNERGISTICS, stated, “Today, consumers can interact with their financial services providers using a multitude of channels.  There are traditional channels associated with financial activity including the branch, telephone, and ATMs, as well as more recent options such as mobile and PC banking.  Consumers often use a mix of channels for simple transactions, customer service activities, and for shopping and obtaining financial products and services.  Our data has consistently shown that consumers are largely additive in their channel usage, and do not abandon channels when new ones are introduced.  This is made quite clear by the growth in the proportion of consumers using a large number of channels.  As a result, providers are faced with the challenge of developing integrated omni-channel strategies in order to meet the needs of today’s consumers who expect to perform financial activities when, where, and how it is most convenient for them.  Information content and the consumer’s experience need to be consistent across channels.”

These are among the findings from SYNERGISTICS study, Omni-Channel Strategies for Financial Services, featuring online interviews with 1,000 consumers age 18 or older.  This study evaluates consumer usage of various channels – from traditional branches and ATMs to online and mobile methods. It will assist providers in maximizing their omni-channel programs.