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Convergence of bricks-and-mortar and mobile is vital for banks: report

Banks should focus on providing a more omnichannel experience by tying mobile into bricks-and-mortar experiences, as 70 percent of consumers with smartphones are interested in such services, according to Mercator Advisory Group.

The report, Omnichannel and Branch Banking: Make It Personal, highlights that 52 percent of consumers are interested in providing feedback regarding their recent experience at a banks’ location through mobile. Customers are growing increasingly frustrated with an non-streamlined multiplatform experience, with many banks requiring them to reenter information that should already be known on digital devices.

“Key takeaway in terms of mobile is that consumers still visit the branch and they want to use their mobile device to enhance their convenience even when they are in the branch,” said Karen Augustine, ?manager of primary data services at ?Mercator Advisory Group. “The most surprising result from this study is that consumers recognize the frequency of cross platform issues and frustrations with banks not knowing their customers well enough so that they would have to re-enter information the banks should already know, re-tell issues or start functions in one channel and not be able to continue it in another from where they left off.

“Omnichannel is no longer just a buzzword. Consumers are taking notice,” she said.

Banks and mobile
Consumers are also highly interested in discounts at retailer partners, as 48 percent of all consumers preferred to receive automatic discounts through mobile by their banks. The greater incentive customers have to leverage the bank, the more likely they will.

Young adults and those who earn above $100,000 yearly are more interested with automatic retail discounts, as it appeals to 62 and 60 percent respectively. It would be wise of banks to determine a form of a rewards program, as 47 percent of respondents claimed to be interested in special and favorable rates.

Banks have the ability to create a truly personal experience by combining bricks-and-mortar with mobile platforms, as 47 percent are interested in being welcomed by name and recognized relationship. Leveraging Bluetooth and beacon technology can be the answer to creating a streamlined personal experience.

About 13 percent of customers claimed to have frequent issues with their bank, many of which could be prevented through personal mobile efforts.

Mobile and bricks-and-mortar
Expectations for financial institution experiences are shifting drastically due to mobile, but the branch location is still a necessary part of service. Banks need to determine how to merge offline and digital more tightly together.

“Banks need to personalize their customers’ banking experience to make their lives easier and more convenient,” Ms. Augustine said. “Consumers are using multiple channels to communicate and conduct banking activities.

“Banks need to make the transition from one channel to another much easier and use the information they have already provided no matter which channel they used to help them continue to bank with them in the most efficient and effective manner,” she said.