ATMs TO VIDEO KIOSKS: CONSUMER VIEWPOINT (Aug 2017)

Beyond Cash Dispensing; Innovative Functions

Automated Branches

Positioning for the Future

Key Finding from the Report:

Most ATM users see the ATM as their primary method of obtaining cash.

How can you broaden the utility of your organization’s ATM network.

Research Description and methodology

This study examines consumer usage of ATMs and assesses their reaction to advanced ATM functionality and videoconferencing capability.

National Internet Survey – The survey will include 985 Internet interviews with consumers age 18 or older.

Key Dates

August 2017 – Project Report available.

Strategic Objectives

  • Profile consumer ATM usage including monthly frequency, types of activities, and types of locations used.  Identify the important benefits of using ATMs.  Assess the role of the ATM as a banking channel for various activities.
  • Measure the current usage of and potential for expanded ATM functionality.  Assess whether consumers prefer to have advanced functions on the ATM they use most often or if they should be done at special kiosks.   Identify the preferred locations for advanced ATMs – either at the branch or off-premise locations.
  • Examine the extent to which advanced ATMs or kiosks can serve as a replacement for branch teller activities.  Identify motivations to adopt advanced ATM functionality and barriers to adoption.
  • Assess current and potential usage of videoconferencing services at the ATM.  Measure the potential of videoconferencing ATMs as a sales channel for various financial accounts and services.  Identify consumer concerns that may hinder adoption.
  • Examine consumer reaction to personalized services at ATMs – such as pre-selected withdrawal amounts, automatic balance information, or alerts about upcoming payments.  Measure customer experience with marketing messages at the ATM, including account acquisition.
  • Assess consumer usage of and potential for using mobile phones in conjunction with ATM activities either as a means of cardless access or for pre-ordering ATM withdrawals.
  • Identify consumer segments – defined by demographics, financial behavior, or attitudes – that should be the focus of strategies to expand ATM usage or introduce advanced functions.

Research Issues

  • Since they were first introduced fifty years ago, ATMs have undergone a number of transformations – evolving from serving primarily as cash dispensers to being machines that can take deposits, sell stamps, and cross-sell mortgages. Some ATMs have become video kiosks that offer users the ability to interact with tellers or specialists in remote locations.
  • The latest twist underway is to link ATMs with mobile devices and wallets which may ultimately result in ATMs without card readers, screens or PIN pads. Cardless ATM access is seen as a way to circumvent ATM skimming. The extent of ATM enhancements may vary based on the location and markets served.  For many consumers, the ATM is the bank and it functions as a branch surrogate.  Previous research by Phoenix Synergistics has shown that many ATM users visit the branch solely to use the ATM.  Video kiosks are often located at the branch, and branch staff are available to explain how to use these machines.  ATMs can also be located in a variety of off-premise locations.
  • Recently, a great deal has been written from the industry viewpoint about the ATM being 50 years old. Now ATM providers need to carefully evaluate these ATM developments from the consumer’s perspective.  Do consumers want and need enhanced functionality? What are consumers’ concerns when using ATMs and video kiosks? What locations are appropriate for enhanced ATMs and video kiosks? This survey will address these issues and more.

MOBILE FINANCIAL APPS: CONSUMER REACTION (Aug 2017)

Banking, Budgeting, and Payments

Provider Competition

Advantages and Disadvantages

Key Finding from the Report:

Findings from the survey reveal that four in ten mobile phone owners have downloaded some type of financial app. This tends to be much more widespread among Millennials.

 

Research Description and methodology

This study examines consumer experience with mobile apps for financial products and services.  Consumer preferences and perceived benefits are also assessed.

National Internet Survey – The survey will include 985 Internet interviews with consumers age 18 or older.

Key Dates

August 2017 – Project Report available.

Strategic Objectives

  • Profile the current environment for mobile financial apps in terms of frequency of mobile banking and financial activities, the extent have downloaded apps, number downloaded, and from what types of financial institutions and organizations.
  • Assess in detail the types of mobile apps consumers have downloaded – including general banking/budgeting, saving/investing, purchases/payments, rewards, and other financial activity. Determine if apps used or not. Measure which would like to have.  Capture if downloaded from main or primary provider.
  • Examine the types of activities performed with direct connect mobile banking apps. Determine role as a banking method – primary, secondary, or emergency.
  • Assess the impact of mobile financial apps on other banking channels – encompassing aspects such as overall frequency of usage of apps, whether using other channels more, less, or the same, with using PC-based online banking more, less, or the same, and expectation than mobile apps will replace PC-based online banking.
  • Evaluate the value of innovative options for mobile apps – such as voice commands, facial recognition, digital lockbox, fingerprint verification, and click to call connection.
  • Identify advantages and disadvantages of mobile apps that should be promoted to expand adoption or increase usage? Identify reasons for nonusage that may be barriers to adoption to address.
  • Segment and target the market – in terms of behavioral, attitudinal, or demographic variables – to implement strategies and tactics to expand and increase usage of mobile financial apps.

Research Issues

  • Is there an app for that?  As usage of smartphones for mobile banking expands, usage of financial apps increases.  Consumers are responding positively to the ability to perform banking transactions and other financial activities via a mobile app. It is often described as having the branch at your fingertips.
  • Mobile financial apps can be used for anything and everything financial. Consumers can perform transactions, make bill payments, and locate branches and ATMs using an app.  There are also apps to help consumers with more difficult financial tasks such as saving, investing, and financial management. Today’s mobile apps can make the tedious and time consuming tasks such as budgeting and expense tracking easier and in some cases fun with colorful graphics and cartoon characters.  Apps provide convenience and ease for consumers and help strengthen relationships with customers by providing an element of “stickiness.”
  • Competition is extensive as both financial institutions and other organizations compete for screen space. The world of financial apps is dynamic, challenging providers to keep up with the rapid pace of developments, technology, and the sheer number and scope of mobile financial apps. This study will address these challenges as well as others examining mobile financial apps from the consumer’s perspective.

OPTIMIZING SELF-SERVICE BANKING (March 2017)

Branches and Online Channels

Account Management, Customer Service, and Sales

Terminals, Devices, and Technological Innovations

Key Finding from a Previous Phoenix SYNERGISTICS Research Survey:

According to the 2014 Phoenix SYNERGISTICS study, The Era of Self-Service Banking, most consumers felt that branch automation should make it easier for branch staff to serve customers, while fewer felt branch automation should make the branch more self-service for customers.  Have these attitudes shifted over the past two years?

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Highlights of the Study

This study examines the consumer experience with self-service banking, including in-branch options and online and mobile banking.  Consumer reaction to various technological innovations is evaluated as well.

National Internet Survey – The survey will include 1,000 online interviews with consumers age 18 or older.

Key Dates

December 23, 2016 – Charter fee/Intro pricing ends.

December 23, 2016 – Final acceptance of comments on questionnaire.

March 2017 – Project Report available.

Strategic Questions

  • What is the general day-to-day approach of consumers to self-service activities? Which types of activities do consumers have experience with – such as using self-checkouts at retail stores, placing orders at self-service kiosks in restaurants, or checking in for airline flights using computers or mobile devices?
  • What is the role of ATMs in self-service banking and financial activities? How widespread has ATM deposit making become?  Will consumers adopt advanced activities and functions at ATMs or other self-service terminals?  Are advanced functions regarded as appropriate for regularly-used ATMs or for specialized terminals?
  • Are consumers receptive to real-time videoconferencing with bank representatives? Is there a preference for doing this on certain devices?  Is this a potential account acquisition channel?
  • What will be the impact of consumer usage of self-service activities on branch automation and configuration strategies? How will branch traffic patterns change in response to wider adoption of self-service alternatives?
  • How do customers view their own comfort level in using automated or self-service technology for financial activities? Are there segments who will not adopt self-service devices or functions?  What perceived disadvantages exist that might be barriers to adoption of self-service – such as distrust of technology, a desire for human interaction for some activities, or a reluctance to assume responsibility for decisions or actions?
  • Is there a relationship between online and mobile financial activities and the broader adoption of self-service financial activities? Do certain activities – such as mobile RDC or mobile access to ATMs – enhance or compete with terminal or kiosk-based self-service activities?
  • Is an orientation to or usage of certain self-service devices and systems a basis for segmenting and targeting consumers?  Can behavioral, attitudinal, or demographic traits be used to identify and distinguish these segments?

Research Issues

  • How far along the road to self-service banking are consumers?  Self-service alternatives such as ATMs, kiosks, tablets, and mobile phones have been available for a number of years.  Now, these self-service devices are appearing in branches allowing consumers to conduct transactions easily and quickly so that branch personnel are free to focus on sales of financial products and services.  Videoconferencing terminals located in branches also allow customers to interact with sales specialists in remote locations.  This can be particularly valuable for more complex financial products and services.
  • With all of these new developments, consumers can now perform multiple activities using self-service devices from depositing checks to applying for products and services.  However, for some activities, consumers may use self-service devices along with assisted self-service and full-service alternatives.  Understanding this process is essential in channel integration and branch configuration strategies.
  • Consumers’ willingness to adopt self-service banking may be a result of an overall orientation to self-service in other locations and industries such as grocery stores and airline ticketing.  It may also stem from their desire for time and place convenience.  Whatever the motivation, self-service banking is becoming an essential element as providers develop and implement banking systems and services for the future. [F251]

ONBOARDING PROGRAMS: THE CONSUMER PERSPECTIVE (Feb 2017)

Building and Expanding Relationships

Communication Strategies

Multi-Channel Integration

Key Finding from a Previous Phoenix SYNERGISTICS Research Survey:

According to the 2015 Phoenix SYNERGISTICS study, Checking Account Acquisition and Retention Strategies, more than four in ten of those who opened their checking account first at their institution say they obtained another account within the first six months.

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Highlights of the Study

This study examines the consumer experience with the onboarding process including communication strategies and contact methods, cross-selling and follow-up. The fragmentation of consumer banking relationships is also explored.

National Internet Survey – The survey will include 1,000 online interviews with consumers age 18 or older.

Key Dates

November 25, 2016 – Charter fee/Intro pricing ends.

November 25, 2016 – Final acceptance of comments on questionnaire.

February 2017 – Project Report available.

Strategic Questions

  • How widespread and numerous are multiple account/service relationships with the main financial provider among consumer households? To what extent do checking accounts play a “lead role”  in this?
  • What is the profile of recent account opening activity – within the past five years – among consumer households? What accounts or services have been obtained?  Did comparison shopping take place?  Which channels or sources of information were utilized?  What product or provider features were important?  Which application channels were used?
  • Did consumers experience onboarding tactics during their most recent account opening – such as being asked about their additional financial needs, being informed about other accounts and services, or receiving welcome materials? Were other accounts and services obtained as a result of these efforts and what types?  Were other ancillary or value-added services obtained or used as a result of onboarding tactics?
  • What experience have consumers had with onboarding tactics during a short time frame after their most recent account opening? How soon were they contacted and by what channels?  What were the outcomes of these contacts in terms of obtaining any additional accounts or services or using any ancillary or value-added services?
  • What attitudinal or perceptual factors impact the onboarding process? Are customers receptive to being asked about their needs or do they regard it as an invasion of privacy?  How often do they want to be contacted by their institution, if at all?   What is the position of the main provider relationship in terms of obtaining additional accounts and services?
  • What preferences do consumers have for future financial shopping and onboarding activities – in terms of information channels and content, application methods, follow-up messages, and time frame for follow-up contact?
  • Are certain consumer segments more receptive to onboarding than others?  Are there indicators – such as demographic, behavioral, or attitudinal traits – that are useful for designing and targeting onboarding strategies and tactics?

Research Issues

  • Onboarding programs are receiving a great deal of attention in today’s financial marketplace.  These programs are designed to develop and enhance financial relationships from inception.  In essence, onboarding is a short-term strategy that can lead to long-term and loyal relationships.  There are a number of steps that can be part of the onboarding process.
  • The first step is often an assessment of customer needs when the product or service is first purchased.  This step can be followed with some form of thanking the customer for the purchase.  A series of steps can follow such as inquiries about product usage, satisfaction, and problems or concerns.  These steps can utilize a variety of forms of communication from traditional mail, email, telephone calls, as well as a mix of channels. It is valuable for these contacts to occur early in the relationship and that they are personal and frequent. As a result of these contacts, cross selling can either follow or additional sales may be an adjunct to the onboarding process.
  • While most onboarding is associated with checking accounts, purchases of all types of financial products and services may benefit from the onboarding process.  In developing and implementing onboarding programs, it is essential for providers to understand the consumer perspective. How do consumers respond to the onboarding process?  Do consumers consider some steps as valuable, while others are seen as too much of a good thing?  What channels are preferred?  This Phoenix SYNERGISTICS survey will examine these issues as well as others to provide financial institutions with clearer insight into the consumer perspective on the onboarding and sales process. [F250]

THE EXPANDING MOBILE PAYMENTS MARKET (Dec 2016)

Mobile Bill Pay, mPOS, and P2P

Fraud and Security Issues

Challenges and Opportunities

Key Finding from the Phoenix SYNERGISTICS Report:

More than half of mobile phone users find some appeal in the concept of biometrics as a means of completing a purchase or transaction.

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Highlights of the Study

This study examines consumer experience with various mobile payment activities – mobile bill pay, mPOS, and P2P.  Consumer reaction to fraud and security issues as related to mobile payments is also assessed.

 

National Internet Survey – 1,008 consumers age 18 or older.

Key Dates

 

December 2016 – Project Report available.

Strategic Questions

  • How widespread is usage of mobile bill payment?  Which access methods – biller sites/apps or FI sites/apps – are most used?  Do financial institutions face barriers in expanding usage of this service?
  • What is the consumer experience with mobile payments at the point of sale?  At which locations are these types of mobile payments most prevalent?  Are problems being encountered?
  • Have mobile P2P payments gained acceptance among consumers?  Which providers are prominent in this space?  Is there potential for wider adoption?  Are consumers willing to pay fees for immediate funds availability?
  • What experience have consumers had with mobile apps or scanners used by merchants for processing card payments?  Are these devices seen as being secure for payment transactions?
  • Are there benefits or advantages that providers should emphasize to encourage adoption of mobile payments and purchases?  What barriers or objections are impeding growth of this market?
  • What is the “next step” in innovative mobile payments capabilities?  How do consumers respond to biometric identification technology?  Will “wearables” have a place in the mobile payments space?
  • Which demographic or behavioral segments should providers focus on to increase and expand mobile payments activity?

Research Issues

  • According to the Pew Research Center, seven in ten U.S. consumers own a smartphone, representing a wide potential user base for mobile payments. Competition in mobile payments continues to be intense as new players and new services are announced on a regular basis.  Yet even with all the activity and potential in terms of user base, the market is experiencing growing pains.
  • Mobile payments can include a number of activities – mobile bill payment, mobile payment at the point of sale (mPOS), and person to person (P2P) mobile payments.  Mobile payments at the point of sale has seen a great deal of activity. The advent of Apple Pay was one of the most dramatic developments in this space.  Samsung Pay and Android Pay are now available for use by consumers. However, usage of these payment services has met with some difficulty and has not lived up to expectations.  For a number of years, P2P payment services were aggressively marketed, but activity appears to have declined. Mobile bill payment, an outgrowth of PC bill payment, has significant potential and may serve as a catalyst or first step for other types of mobile payments.  In addition, banks may be able to capture new or incremental online bill payment volume, particularly among millennial consumers who have an affinity for smartphones and apps.
  • The mobile payments market is also complex with a growing list of services and systems.  PayPal is a notable player and a major factor in the market. Projections regarding mobile payment users and transaction volume are wide and far ranging.  Some industry observers suggest that the innovators or early adopters have largely been captured and that for the remaining consumers mobile payments is a low priority.  Underlying all of this are consumers’ concerns regarding privacy, financial security, and fraud prevention. In this project, Phoenix SYNERGISTICS will evaluate the current status of mobile payments including mobile bill payment, mPOS, and P2P to assist providers in competing in this expanding market opportunity. [A89]

THE MOBILE BANKING REVOLUTION (Oct 2016)

Transactions, Sales, and Service

Apps and Alerts

Impact on Other Channels

Key Finding from the SYNERGISTICS Report:

Most users still view mobile banking as a secondary or emergency banking method.

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Highlights of the Study

This study examines consumer experience with mobile banking.  It also assesses consumer reaction to various apps and alerts and the impact of increasing mobile banking usage on other channels.

 

National Internet Survey – 1,008 consumers age 18 or older.

Key Dates

 

October 2016 – Project Report available.

Strategic Questions

  • What types of mobile banking and financial activities are currently conducted by consumers – including accessing account information, transactions, customer service, and account opening?  Is there potential for expanding any activities?  What types of accounts are accessed by mobile phone?  How strong is potential adoption among nonusers
  • What priority do consumers assign to mobile phones as a channel for conducting banking or financial activities – primary, secondary, or emergency only?  How satisfied are users with the mobile services of their financial institutions?  To what extent has mobile activity displaced other channels – such as branch visits, online banking by PC, and ATM usage?
  • Is mobile remote deposit capture becoming a significant deposit making channel in the consumer market?  What is the potential for adoption among nonusers?  How does experience with mobile RDC drive perception of value?
  • What is the relative usage of and preference for apps or browsers when conducting mobile activities and what are the reasons for these preferences?  What types of apps have been downloaded for financial activities and which are wanted?  Would the availability of apps impact the potential adoption of mobile banking?
  • Are mobile alerts – such as for balance information or payment due dates – an important relationship tactic?  Which types of alerts do mobile banking customers currently receive and which are wanted?
  • Which features or benefits are perceived to be important and should be emphasized in marketing communications to expand adoption and increase usage of mobile banking?  What specific concerns or disadvantages are barriers to adoption among nonusers?
  • How should the consumer market be segmented and targeted – in terms of behavioral, attitudinal, or demographic variables – for implementing strategies and tactics to expand and increase usage of mobile banking?

Research Issues

  • The mobile banking revolution is under way.  The rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets is a primary factor in the rapid acceleration of mobile banking.  Financial institutions are caught up in a frenzy of activity promoting their mobile banking programs.  In the midst of all this activity, there are a number of unanswered questions and issues that need to be evaluated.
  • Consumers can perform a vast array of informational, transactional, customer service, and sales activities with their mobile devices.  It is important to assess the types of activities currently performed as well as those that they would like to do. Usage of mobile bill payment also needs to be measured. Consumers have the option of conducting mobile banking via apps or browser-based platforms.  What additional mobile apps are attractive to consumers? Is mobile RDC a valuable service? Alerts can be provided for a number of purposes. Mobile banking is growing but consumers may not be abandoning PC banking.  Mobile banking may be used in conjunction with PC banking, with mobile banking serving primarily as an emergency or secondary method.  It is important for providers to evaluate the relationship of these online channels to each other and to other channels such as branches.  Privacy and security remain important concerns in the mobile space.
  • There is no doubt that mobile banking is a major component of online banking strategies. The role it will play is still emerging.  This report will provide up-to-date information to help providers compete in the mobile banking revolution. [A88]

ONLINE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT AND ADVISORY TOOLS (Aug 2016)

PFM; Account Aggregation

Robo Advisors

New Competitors

Key Finding from the SYNERGISTICS Report:

Results reveal current usage of Robo advisors is reported by just a narrow slice of consumers, with usage slightly higher among younger consumers.

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Highlights of the Study

This study examines consumer reaction to a variety of online financial management services including PFM, online tools, account aggregation, and robo advisors.  The threat of new competitors in the market is also assessed.

National Internet Survey – 992 consumers age 18 or older.

Key Dates

 

August 2016 – Project Report available.

Strategic Questions

  • How do consumers assess their financial situation – encompassing aspects such as analyzing expenses, tracking assets and liabilities, and measuring investment performance?  What methods are used – including software, personal financial management sites, provider websites, or other applications?
  • What types of online financial planning tools are used or seen as valuable by consumers – including bill or payment alerts, investment planning, loan calculators, budget planners, retirement planning, and tax planning?
  • How widely has account aggregation been adopted?  Is there an opportunity for further adoption? What benefits and drawbacks do consumers see in account aggregation?
  • Is account aggregation a tool for strengthening main provider relationships – or is there a threat from third parties?  What types of providers are currently used by consumers for this service?  Does having a longstanding relationship give a provider a competitive advantage in this market?
  • What is the current level of familiarity and experience with robo advisors?  Are users placing significant portions of their assets with these organizations?  Are they satisfied with the investment returns they are receiving?
  • How wide is the potential for expanded adoption of robo advisors?  Does an option for human contact broaden the appeal?  What are the perceived advantages and disadvantages of this service?
  • What is the profile of current users of online planning tools, account aggregation, and robo advisors in terms of demographic and behavioral variables?  Are potential adopters similar or different?

Research Issues

  • Online financial management and advisory services comprise an exciting area of innovation in financial services. The ongoing development of services, applications, and access channels makes this area something of a moving target. Personal financial management (PFM) encompasses an array of online money management, tracking, information, and planning tools.  Many parties – depository institutions, investment providers, financial planners, and third-party providers – have become heavily involved in PFM in recent years.  At their most advanced, some PFM services utilize account aggregation to import data from multiple providers and offer analytical capabilities to provide a total view of a consumer’s financial position.  Ideally, these tools, in conjunction with online banking and bill payment, may add “stickiness” to a relationship.
  • A more recent, and potentially disruptive, development is that of automated or robo investing services. These services utilize computer models or algorithms to recommend investment allocations and choices based on factors such as a customer’s investment goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon.  Some even make actual investment transactions and reallocate balances on an ongoing, automated basis.  Both traditional and non-traditional players are active in this area.
  • As online financial management and advisory services evolve, it may become essential for providers to incorporate these options into their customer relationship strategies.  It is very important to understand the customer perspective in terms of the degree of information, advice and recommendations, and transaction capability desired from such services. [A87]

EVALUATING SECURITY AND PRIVACY ISSUES FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES (Spring 2016)

Consumer Experience

Education and Communication Strategies

Security Measures and Privacy Policies

Key Finding from the Report:

Results from SYNERGISTICS 2014 study, Security and Privacy Issues in a Digital Age, found that a significant minority of Internet households have experienced some type of fraud or identity theft, an increase since 2006.

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Highlights of the Study

This study examines consumer experience with security and privacy issues related to financial accounts and services.  Consumer reaction to education and communication programs, security measures, and privacy policies is also assessed.

National Internet Survey – 992 consumers age 18 or older.

Key Dates

 

Spring 2016 – Project Report available.

Strategic Questions

  • How do consumers approach security and privacy on a daily basis, if at all?  Have activities such as shredding documents, monitoring balances, opting out of direct mail, and regularly changing passwords become commonplace?  Is there now more concern about financial security and privacy in comparison to two years ago?
  • Which channels for conducting banking activities are consumers most concerned about in terms of security and privacy?  What are consumers’ top concerns for online banking and bill payment?  How wide is consumers’ actual experience with online shopping fraud, identity theft, or account fraud?  Can providers implement measures or procedures that consumers will see as valuable to improve security?
  • Do the privacy policies of financial providers receive any attention from customers?  How proactive are consumers in terms of choosing how personal information is shared by their providers or in opting in or out of receiving marketing messages?  How satisfied are consumers with the security and privacy measures of their financial providers?
  • Do consumers use credit report monitoring services?  Is identity theft insurance widely used?  What providers are used for these services?  How wide is the potential for future adoption?
  • Have security and privacy concerns affected consumers’ payment card behavior?  Are they aware of the liability associated with fraudulent use of their debit or credit cards?  Do they use one particular card for online shopping?  How receptive are they to an “on/off” capability?
  • How do consumers view biometric forms of identification such as fingerprint scanners, facial recognition, or voice recognition?  Are these seen as viable for accessing a payment account at the point of sale or accessing accounts online?
  • Are security and privacy concerns generally widespread or are they heightened among certain demographic or behavioral segments?  Which segments might be more prone to adopt advanced security capabilities such as biometrics?

Research Issues

  • Keeping fraudsters at bay is becoming more difficult in the face of evolving technology, and financial institutions are constantly evaluating new ways to keep their customers’ financial information safe and secure.  Recent security breaches at retailers and other organizations have heightened consumers’ awareness and sensitivity to the possibility that their personal and financial information could be compromised.
  • In response to rising fraudulent activity, many providers have been intensifying their security tactics and exploring new techniques to safeguard consumers’ personal and financial information.  Some providers are considering biometric security measures as a replacement for traditional usernames and passwords.  Many have implemented fraud education and awareness pages on their websites to inform and educate consumers on how to protect themselves from fraudulent activity such as ATM card skimming, phishing, and ID theft.
  • Credit report monitoring, fraud alerts, and identity theft insurance are also available for consumers through various financial institutions and other agencies.  Privacy policies are important in this security-conscious environment.  Some financial institutions are seeking to improve these notices by making them more consumer friendly.  It is important for providers to gain a clear understanding of the current consumer perspective and experience with regard to security and privacy issues in order to optimize their strategies for the future. [A86]

OMNI-CHANNEL STRATEGIES FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES (May 2016)

Integrating Traditional and Digital Channels

Account Management, Service, Sales

Branches, ATMs, Mobile and Online

Key Finding from the Report:

Results from SYNERGISTICS 2014 study, Maximizing Online and Mobile Banking, found that PC banking is being used by many consumers alongside traditional channels such as branches and ATMs.  Mobile and tablet banking continue to grow in popularity.

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Highlights of the Study

This new 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.

 

National Online Survey – 1,000 consumers age 18 or older.

Key Dates

February 26, 2016 – Charter fee/Intro pricing ends.

February 26, 2016 – Final acceptance of comments on questionnaire.

May 2016 – Project Report available.

Strategic Questions

  • What is the current channel usage profile of consumers for accessing their financial accounts and services for information and conducting transactions? Are there patterns of usage in terms of dominant versus secondary channels?  Does this vary by type of activity?
  • Are consumers satisfied with the channels available from their main provider for accessing their accounts and services? What problems or issues should be addressed that may be impacting customer satisfaction?
  • What is the evolving position of the branch in relation to other channel alternatives? Is it becoming complementary or supplementary?  In what situations may the branch still have a dominant role?
  • Are there strategies for reinvigorating the position of ATMs as a channel with innovations such as ATM receipts by email and mobile access? Is usage of the ATM the primary branch activity for some segments of consumers?
  • How do online banking activities – by PC, mobile phone, or tablet – impact and interrelate with other channels, particularly the branch? To what extent are mobile and tablet banking primary online channels for some customers?
  • How are various channels used for account acquisition? To what extent are consumers reactive or proactive in obtaining information? How does the preferred application method vary with type of product?  How do channel patterns vary in terms of customer service and problem resolution?
  • How do consumers’ channel usage patterns relate to other behavioral and demographic indicators that may be useful for segmentation and targeting?  Is the number or variety of access methods used reflective of financial complexity and attractiveness.

Research Issues

  • Today, consumers can interact with their financial services providers using a multitude of channels.  There are the traditional channels associated with financial activity including the branch, telephone, mail and ATMs.  Online PC methods are among the most popular ways for consumers to conduct financial activities. The mobile channel is growing in acceptance particularly among millennials. Social media, video and financial apps add new dimension to the expanding array of channels and services.
  • Consumers often use a mix of channels for simple transactions, customer service activities, and for shopping and obtaining financial products and services.  Consumers may read about a financial product online, text or email someone to find out about the product, and then purchase the product in person at the branch.
  • 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.  Channel usage may vary based on the type of financial product.  In order to develop a comprehensive omni-channel strategy, it is essential to examine consumer behavior, needs, and expectations. [F242]

RESHAPING THE ROLE OF THE BRANCH (Mar 2016)

From Transactions to Sales

Approaches to Staffing

Branch Size and Functions

Key Finding from the Report:

Results from SYNERGISTICS 2014 study, The Era of Self-Service Banking, found that tellers and other personnel are widely used during branch visits.  However, ATMs are also being used extensively at branches.  Are consumers ready to accept ATMs as a replacement for tellers at branches?

F241 Prop Graphic

Highlights of the Study

This study evaluates branch usage patterns, improvements and innovations, as well as the role of branches going forward.  It will assist providers in identifying strategies for positioning, redesigning and configuring branches.
National Internet Survey – 1,000 consumers age 18 or older.

Key Dates

December 18, 2015 – Charter fee/Intro pricing ends.
December 18, 2015 – Final acceptance of comments on questionnaire.
March 2016 – Project Report available.

Strategic Questions

  • What is the position of the branch as a consumer contact point in terms of frequency of overall monthly visits? How does this vary between inside visits, drive-up visits, and other purposes?  How important are convenient branches as a provider selection factor?  What types of activities are performed at branches?  How important is the role of branches in initial account acquisition and further cross-selling?
  • Has consumer branch usage increased, decreased, or stayed the same in the past five and one year periods? How have other channels – such as ATMs, online banking, and mobile banking – impacted branch activity?
  • What are the reasons or motivations some consumers use branches instead of other available – and potentially more convenient – channels? In contrast, why do some consumers choose not to use branches?
  • How do consumers view automation and technology in branches – as a means for branch staff to provide better customer service or as an option for customers to perform self-service?  Do customers in general desire future improvements in branch technology?
  • What role do or can alternative facilities play in meeting consumers’ needs for branch contact?   How widespread is usage of in-store branches and online direct banks?   What is the potential for self-service kiosks?  Does video conference capability expand the appeal of kiosks?
  • How wide is overall satisfaction with branches among consumers? How important are specific aspects such as transaction speed and accuracy, number and convenience of locations, hours of operation, and staff competence and friendliness? What features, services, or staffing capabilities would consumers see as being improvements at their primary branch?
  • Which consumer identifiers – such as demographic variables, behavioral patterns, or attitudinal traits – are most useful in designing and implementing branch configuration strategies?

Research Issues

  • Branches will remain the heart of delivery systems for many financial institutions. However, it is inescapable that this facility needs to be reshaped for the future.  Consumer branch behavior is changing as check usage declines and usage of remote banking alternatives such as online and mobile banking and remote deposit capture grow.  In this new digital age, providers are faced with the dilemma of how to make branches more efficient and cost-effective, while at the same time improving the customer experience by offering financial advice and consultations.
  • New branch redesigns are emphasizing the advisory, customer service, and sales roles these facilities play in the financial behavior of consumers.  Even technology addicts come to branches when they want to make important financial decisions or open more complex products.  Many providers are employing universal staffing so that one representative can serve the varying needs of customers from advice and sales to transactions.  As an aid in enhancing service at the branch some providers are encouraging customers to make appointments with a banker using their mobile phone.
  • There is also an increasing emphasis on moving routine teller transactions to self-service options such as automated deposit terminals, cash recyclers, videoconference terminals, and enhanced ATMs that perform a variety of new functions from cashing checks to the penny to issuing cards.  What is the reaction of consumers to these self-service or automated options at the branch?  The function or role of the branch is not the only aspect that is evolving – branches are also becoming smaller in size.  Will consumers accept smaller branches with fewer staff and more automation?  This survey will explore consumer reaction to new approaches to branch staffing, function, and size to assist providers in designing cost-effective and efficient branch facilities. [F241]