The importance of going digital – cross channel banking solutions are no longer a convenience

From accessing the work server, 1,000 miles away, to ticking off your entire Christmas list online, digital solutions have transformed our daily lives for the good. It has become the norm for people the world over to expect access to information and their personal data from wherever they are, whenever they want. Bank details and accounts are no different and the UK population in particular has become more reliant on digital banking solutions than ever before.

David Webber is the managing director of Intelligent Environments. Webber joined Intelligent Environments in 2012, bringing over 15 years hands-on experience of the financial services software industry.

Webber is responsible for the day-to-day running of Intelligent Environments, working closely with all divisions of the business to effectively determine and define the organisation’s overall strategy, strategic partnerships and global marketing communications.

Prior to joining the organisation, he was chief executive at electronic trading, risk and exchange systems provider, Patsystems Group, a role he held for six years. While in this position Webber led a geographically diverse team across seven global offices and oversaw exponential growth across all markets, particularly in the Asia Pacific region as well as the identification and execution of a major acquisition in the US. Before this he was the chief executive and managing director of retail financial systems provider, AttentiV, a role he held for eight years.

 

From accessing the work server, 1,000 miles away, to ticking off your entire Christmas list online, digital solutions have transformed our daily lives for the good. It has become the norm for people the world over to expect access to information and their personal data from wherever they are, whenever they want. Bank details and accounts are no different and the UK population in particular has become more reliant on digital banking solutions than ever before.

A recent YouGov survey on digital banking trends carried out for Intelligent Environments in November, looked to discover the ever changing banking habits of the British population. The results were fascinating. According to the study, 81 per cent of Brits now use online banking and 20 per cent use mobile banking at least once a month. This compares to less than half (45 per cent) who said they visit their local branch once a month or more.

The figures echo findings from the Payments Council that were released last year, which show that in 2011, one in four UK adults accessed their bank accounts online. This compared with figures released by banking industry body APACS in 2000 showing that just 3.5 million people in the UK used similar technology during that period.

People’s habits are changing of that there is no doubt. However whilst digital banking solutions started out as an easy and reliable way for people to check their finances, the YouGov findings also show they are increasingly becoming as vital a part of their daily life as say for example, a mobile phone. Today, over half of Brits (51 per cent) say an effective digital banking solution is integral of them staying loyal to their bank or building society.

In a time where banks find themselves amongst the negative headlines more and more, ensuring they have such solutions in place is essential for them to survive and remain competitive. Such solutions will only become even more important as new legislation, recommended by the Vicker’s report takes effect in September 2013. This legislation outlines that the switching of customer bank accounts and redirecting of direct debits must reduce from 31 days to just seven.

When this becomes law, it’s likely that more people than ever will look to change their banking provider, in much the same way that they change their mobile phone provider if they are unhappy with the service. Considering this, it is imperative that banks ensure they have an effective digital solution in place that is not only secure, but also provides a seamless customer experience whether it is product delivery, customer service or across marketing campaigns.

As customer retention continues to get harder in what will only become a more competitive market, UK banks must keep with the times and provide their customers with the cross channel digital banking solutions they are increasingly growing to expect.