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Mobile in Financial Services: Still Lacking but Heading in the Right Direction [Blog]

By UsableNet on Feb 23, 2015
Topics: UX Research & Design


As mobile becomes more central to how consumers connect with brands, financial services companies need to do more to reach customers and personalize the digital experience. Legal and compliance issues hinder financial service providers from leveraging channels like social media, a significant touchpoint in customer engagement.

Leading Financial Services brands are executing digital strategies to engage customers. Regions launched their Regions 360 program to improve overall service quality. “Built around getting a holistic understanding of a customer’s financial situation and goals,” Regions 360 allows the brand to offer customers help, advice, and products to address their needs across channels. Part of the Regions 360 launch involved opening a social-dedicated telephone line where trained representatives focused on addressing customer service concerns expressed on social media. Now, regardless of medium, customers can be serviced directly.

On mobile, Regions launched a mobile app to experiment with gamification as an engagement tactic. The Regions Scholar Athlete Game is an app that simulates a game of golf while teaching young adults about budgeting and other finance-related topics, allowing Regions to experiment with new marketing technology and educate customers on financial literacy. With these innovative efforts, Regions educates and guides its customers on mobile.

According to Deloitte, the recent U.S. financial crisis wore out the consumer trust in financial services brands and, “the need to rebuild trust through performance is increasingly apparent.” Financial services companies have responded by revitalizing their brands to earn the trust of a wider range of customers. Brands such as Prudential have seen 50% of traffic coming from mobile, while others like ACE Insurance have begun to leverage the cloud for direct sales of insurance, aiming to target millennials.

Financial Services brands need to focus on creating positive experiences, which must stem from putting the customer at the center of their strategy. Tips on creating customer-centric experiences:

  1. Improve the customer experience across all devices: Users want to engage with brands across every screen. Be available and consistent on every touchpoint, and offer users the opportunity to reach your brand at every step of their journey.
  2. Understand your end user: Recognize that retail has influenced customer expectations for mobile. Take consumer context into account when engaging with your audience and    offer them personalized offers for a positive customer experience.
  3. Design with defined use cases: Content is key to a great experience, and the power of curation should not be underestimated. A/B testing will play a crucial role in tailoring content to ensure its impact.

A consistent investment in and update of customer-centric strategies will ensure an experience that is always aligned with changing user behaviors. While Financial Services brands are somewhat disadvantaged because of regulation, a personalized and user-centric strategy can ensure that brands reach beyond the limitations and engage every customer meaningfully. 



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