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What is omnichannel banking? Benefits and challenges for financial services


As the digitization of daily life picks up the pace and continues to spread across the world, financial institutions are striving to keep up, making many of their services available to customers online, from financial advice to everyday banking operations.

But while customers appreciate the improved efficiency and convenience of online services, they still want a personal experience. In a study by Accenture 50% wanted to be able to switch between human and digital channels. Similarly, a survey by Deloitte shows that many customers still prefer traditional channels when it comes to more complex transactions.

4 key benefits of omnichannel banking

Omnichannel banking offers the perfect half-way house between online banking and a traditional face-to-face service. Banks can provide customers with a choice of channels and allow them to switch from one to another without disrupting or fragmenting their journey. They can therefore offer customers the convenience of digital channels while maintaining the human contact that is crucial to building trust.

  1. One major advantage of omnichannel banking is that issues can be resolved quickly and efficiently. By interacting online, you eliminate any unnecessary stages in the process such as the introductory small talk that is part and parcel of in-person interactions. Addressing the problem online, you get to the point much faster.
  2. As a result of faster problem resolution, banks can save on support costs. Similarly, you can delegate a portion of queries to digital tools such as chatbots, which can help resolve simple and straightforward customer queries, leaving advisors free to focus on more complex and sensitive issues.
  3. Omnichannel banking isn’t just about improved efficiency and cutting costs. For customers, they experience a more personalized service. A hybrid customer journey – one that alternates between digital and more traditional person-to-person exchange – offers greater flexibility, adapting to the customer’s unique needs, rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all approach.
  4. With customers able to enjoy both a faster and more personalized service, their satisfaction rockets. As a result, banks experience improved loyalty, as happy customers are more likely to return. Furthermore, customers receive exactly the help they need and so there are fewer drop-offs and conversions rocket.

Omnichannel banking common challenges

However, implementing a successful omnichannel banking strategy is not always easy. Banks can run into problems in a number of places and risk alienating and losing customers.

For example, by relying on isolated touchpoints, such as a video conferencing tool for an online meeting, banks reduce the opportunity for productive interactions. Video call should function as just one step in a more cohesive customer experience, one that integrates several tools, such as live chat or co-browsing, to enhance the conversation on multiple levels.

Similarly, an over-reliance on digital tools can result in a frustrating experience for customers. In one survey, only 16% of consumers said they were satisfied with their primary financial institution’s digital experience. Banks are failing to adapt their service to meet each unique customer’s individual demands. To enhance the customer experience, banks need to prioritize those digital tools that create more opportunities for meaningful conversation.

Automating all services also fails to provide the human contact so necessary to building trust. Banks need to integrate the digital and physical in a way that prioritizes meaningful conversation. For example, adding self-service screens in branches or using texting channels to connect customers with advisors at their own convenience.

Omnichannel banking & Unblu

Discover why Unblu is one of the best solutions for omnichannel banking by booking a demo today and one of our team members will reach out to help.