The digital revolution and mobile banking have transformed the way people interact with their bank. This trend is set to continue, with figures revealing that mobile transactions are set to rise by around 121 percent between 2017 and 2022, and average branch visits are set to drop from seven to four per year by 2022.
Traditional providers have also been faced with the emergence of challenger banks (such as Monzo and Starling), which are striving to capture the attention of millennials with their agile, digital offerings. The territory of the high street stalwarts is being encroached on by the likes of PayPal and Apple Pay which have disrupted the payments market, traditionally an area that banks have dominated.
Customers or fans?
New entrants have energised their customer base to something often more akin to a fan club, often incorporating gamification principles to encourage customers to use their digital platform, with the ultimate aim of improving their customer retention and online customer experience.
Driving this is the principle of personalisation, and the ability to customise, which promotes a sense of ownership in the game through self-expression. Having experiences that deliver delight, preferably packaged into social media-friendly personalised snapshots, is what drives many consumers.
As brand loyalty diversifies and consumers want more personalised experiences, these techniques become a great way to attract and retain customers. Personalisation allows businesses to understand why their customers do what they do, and that they share their values.
Data is king
However, what is underlying this ability to personalise and drive delight is data. Data has quickly become king. The value of the UK data market is set to hit £1.1 billion ($1.58 billion) in 2018, making it the second-largest data market in the world and the biggest in Europe. No longer just a by-product of transactions and interactions, customer data itself has become a valuable commodity that can be used to give insights into customers’ tastes and habits. Learning how to interpret and influence those tastes and habits is one of the keys to unlocking the power, and the value, of data. Being able to offer customised products based on the trends, demographics and insights derived from the data, as well as providing the platform to bring all these services together, is where providers like Atom and Monzo have raced ahead of the field, finding unique ways to gamify the data they collect.
Whilst data is king, not all data is created equal. The key is deciphering how best to use it to play to your strengths.
But it is not just these challenger banks that can harness the value of data—retail banking as a sector is uniquely placed to ride this wave of value creation. Purely in terms of reach, whilst 78 percent of UK adults use Facebook, a full 97 percent have some kind of banking product. So the opportunity is there.
The evolving banking ecosystem
As a result, the retail banking industry is beginning to broaden in unprecedented ways. This is partly due to multitudinous new and evolving technologies generating, among other things, completely different access to data. All this is spurring increasingly serious conversations around how the future of banking will be shaped. The key to long-term success will be a move away from the monolithic banking model, towards an evolving ecosystem that encourages competition but also supports success for all. And data represents a major monetisation opportunity in this changing environment.
It’s critical though that banks play to their strengths rather than forcing themselves into models within which they don’t truly fit. Established banks do not need to emulate the personalisation and game-logic of the challengers to make a success of this new marketplace. That said, without banks taking a different path and creating different offerings, the ecosystem won’t be able to function. Banks need to understand their natural fit within the future banking ecosystem to give themselves the greatest chance for success and ensure the strongest foundation upon which to build a data monetisation strategy. The potential benefits of a successful approach are ample, but starting from a shaky foundation could bring this tumbling down early on.
What kind of bank do you want to be?
Our point of view, which discusses this topic and asks “What kind of bank are you?” and “What bank do you want to be?” provokes an inward look at your place within the future retail banking ecosystem. Read the full report.