With so many predictions and trends swirling around, we’ve picked the top 4 banking trends we think are most important for banks and credit unions to pay attention to – and act on – in 2020. Note – They don’t involve blockchain or FinTechs, but rather key, yet manageable tweaks you can make to improve the customer experience.

Trend #1: Putting Big Data & Analytics to Use

Many industry analysts and sources have (yet again) named “big data” a trend for banking in 2020. Financial institutions should be tracking data. This is nothing new as we’ve all heard it umpteen times before, but what can it look like in a practical application for banks and credit unions?

banks and credit unions using big data and analytics reports

One manageable place to start is with customer feedback, but think beyond big annual NPS surveys. Collect customer feedback wherever you can. That includes the content on your website mobile, and other digital channels.

Trend #2: Delivering on the Omnichannel Promise

woman on her phone showing she's using an an omnichannel banking experience

Omnichannel is certainly not a new buzzword or trend for 2020, but the expectation to deliver is now ubiquitous among consumers. We all know it; customers want to interact and reach out to you on their own terms, so financial institutions have to offer and support a wide array of channels. If a customer begins a journey in a branch and resumes it at home on their smartphone, the content and experience not only need to be present on all channels, they need to be consistent.

While the applications needed to truly deliver on an omnichannel strategy might be a bigger initiative, the one area that you can more easily improve in 2020 is support information. The majority of banks and credit unions have different information living on different channels, creating a lot of inconsistency and confusion for your customers. Consistency is key in ensuring a satisfactory customer experience. 

Trend #3: Get in with Artificial Intelligence & Empower Your Customer

A top trend for 2020 is furthering automation and getting smarter while doing so, particularly with artificial intelligence (AI). In its Financial Services Technology 2020 and Beyond report, PwC predicts “AI, machine learning, and customer analytics to become the driver of client engagement over the next decade.”

As more and more financial institutions invest in AI to automate processes and basic customer service inquiries, the cost savings could be astronomical. Business Insider estimates that the potential cost savings for banks from AI applications to be $447 billion by 2023.

Artificial Intelligence knowledge

While there are many uses and applications for AI in banking from personalizing service to detecting fraud to enhancing security, automating customer service is perhaps one of the most common.

One of the biggest challenges with banking today is how “closed” it is. Legacy systems, siloed information, siloed departments, etc. have created a demand, and hence a market for what we know today as “open banking” – the use of APIs that enable third-parties to connect applications and services around an existing financial institution, allowing for greater transparency of options for customers.

2020 Banking Trends are Focused on Customer Experience

The trends for banking in 2020 are not the easiest pill to swallow, especially for the small and mid-sized banks and credit unions of the world. With greater competition in the financial services sector from fintechs and non-traditional players, increasing consumer demands, and quickly emerging technologies, the path to survival — let alone success — can very easily seem daunting.

On the other hand, at the core of these trends is a tenant that has been central to financial services for decades – customer service. The outlook for these banking trends can be seen as an opportunity for banks and credit unions to finally pull the trigger on much-needed change, and it can all begin with small changes that are manageable in scope and incremental in the positive impact they may have on your customers’ banking experience.

“The expansion of digital offerings and the growing expectations of consumers who use them puts unprecedented pressure on credit unions to keep up with competition or risk irrelevancy. It’s great for credit unions to offer better rates, of course, but in today’s low-rate environment, service experience is where cooperatives can really step apart from the pack.” – Marc Rapport, Callahan & Associates

At Engageware we help banks and credit unions improve their customer engagement through a Customer Self-Service solution that centralizes, manages, and deploys support answers and product content across existing web, mobile, and online banking platforms.  Learn more about the solution that’s helping banks and credit unions provide exceptional customer service.

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