Banking Modernization: Is It A Communication Breakdown?

May 08, 2019

The famous line "What we've got here is failure to communicate" from Cool Hand Luke (1967) serves as a warning shot in the current blitzkrieg of Digital Transformation for banks.

As financial institutions are charging toward ever-increased market share growth and maximized operational efficiency, through lofty and worthy aspirations of digital transformation and customer experience improvements, banks must be careful to not lose sight of the fundamental value and critical need for timely and meaningful communications with customers. This is illuminated in a recent survey on the Financial Brand which finds that almost two-thirds (63%) of customers say they would consider switching banking providers if communications don't meet their expectations. While the bank's products, services, and fees are important, effective communications are clearly essential to promote customer retention and loyalty.

Many attributes and adjectives could appropriately describe what is critical to great communications, but I believe the heart of superior communications in financial services relies on meeting three pillars:

  • Quality communications – Clear, consistent, accurate, and trustworthy
  • Personable communications – Unique, relevant, and timely
  • Actionable guidance – Guiding, proactive, and innovative

Your bank's Digital Transformation Journey provides a prime opportunity to closely examine and improve all customer communication points and flows. Typical examples of banking communication touchpoints include: Alerts, Notices, Consent Management, Letters, Origination Forms, Social Media Posts, Statements, On-demand Contact Center, Back-office engagements, Customer Preference Management, Product and Service Offers, and Marketing.

Research shows that financial institutions must take all the necessary steps to get reactionary customer communications right; this has become table stakes in retaining digital-savvy clients (but many still fall way short). Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are quickly becoming market differentiators to empower proactive customer communications. Truly exciting work is being accomplished under the banner of AI and ML in efforts to leverage banking's invaluable asset of data. To shift from being reactive to proactive, banks can harness the power of modern technology to more effectively communicate with customers, attaining algorithmically-derived results. In this manner, the bank helps its customers more intelligently and effectively – not only enabling them to progressively conduct their daily business, but ultimately to also achieve life goals.

According to the Financial Brand, a reported 80% of bank operations leaders say their organization's existence could be threatened if they don't update technology to be more flexible and capable of supporting rapid innovation. As your bank modernizes and transforms, ensure each customer interaction offers value by adhering to the essential attributes of providing quality, personable, and actionable guidance communications. There is no time to wait – the time is now. Customer communications are the foundation and the very bedrock of Customer Experience, Governance and Operational Efficiency. How does your bank stack up?

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Your banking platform modernisation journey provides a prime opportunity to closely examine and improve each and every customer communication touchpoint and flow. The most successful banks will harness the power of AI and ML to effectively and proactively communicate, promote customer retention and loyalty, and attain algorithmically-derived results

How will your story unfold? Contact us at to schedule an exploratory workshop.

About the Author
Andrew Beatty, Head of Next Generation Banking
Andrew BeattyHead of Next Generation Banking

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