User continuity critical when defining the digital banking experience

Narmi Staff Contributor

Consumers increasingly expect online interactions to be seamless, intuitive and immediate, regardless if they’re making a purchase, posting on social media, or managing their finances. Financial institutions seeking to improve and expand their digital functionality face many challenges when it comes to providing an integrated user experience across an array of siloed services. This is directly linked to the lack of third-party software that fails to consider the value of continuity from the user’s perspective.

The ultimate goal is to offer a comprehensive experience from start to finish that includes these core areas of function and service:

  • Account opening
  • Mobile and online banking
  • Digital and phone support
  • Loan application and management
  • Corporate website
  • Employee-facing applications

While it is understandable that not every piece of a financial institution’s technology stack be seamlessly integrated, the relationship between account opening and mobile/online banking is the most critical component to continuity. Users do not think of these as separate experiences, but instead expect to seamlessly transition to a digital platform immediately following opening an account. Unfortunately, most financial institutions have not mastered this experience. If financial institutions can accomplish the four steps below, they will be in the 1% of financial institutions in the country that effectively offer users this seamless experience:

  1. Click on “Open Account Now” on the financial institution’s corporate website
  2. User inputs personal information and funding details which are processed in under three minutes
  3. Account opens on core banking system, funding is processed, user identification is verified and recorded, and CIP program is satisfied
  4. User automatically transitions to online or mobile banking platform and is able to start using their account

If a financial institution wants to elevate itself to the next level, and be on par with industry-leading fintech companies, offering one consistent platform bridging online account opening and digital banking can offer even more benefits:

  • An external account used to initially fund the new account, can automatically be linked in mobile and online banking
  • Plaid, MX and other financial aggregators can return advanced data during the ACH authentication which can be used for future cross-sell opportunities
  • A single fraud record covering account opening, ACH fraud, address changes, and more, is generated thus allowing financial institutions to make smarter decisions based on more data

Continuity is paramount in providing users with a valuable experience, specifically when it comes to online account opening and digital banking. Delivering a continuous user experience impresses the user and encourages them develop a deeper banking relationship with a financial institution. The tangible benefits include increased deposits, higher engagement and more opportunities for cross-sell.

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User continuity critical when defining the digital banking experience