September 11, 2018Singapore Banking: How Focusing on the Customer Will Save the Day

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In the past year, banks in Singapore have made some major headway in their digital offerings. According to the J.D. Power 2018 Singapore Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, for example, mobile banking has exceeded physical branch interactions by 15% since 2017.


Unfortunately, with the main focus being placed on growing the use of mobile banking, user experience has taken a back seat. According to the study, customers experiencing problems (like long loading times and login issues) with their mobile banking app has increased by 3% since last year. This may not seem like a huge jump, but it shows that user experience still has a way to go.


When we talk about user experience, what we’re talking about is the experience of an individual using a product, such as a website or online application, and how easy and enjoyable it is (or isn’t) for them to use. If banks in Singapore want to keep progressing as they have been, the customer must be at the center of their efforts.


As Anthony Chiam, Regional Practice Leader for Financial Services at J.D. Power, puts it, placing the customer at the heart of their transformation “…may not only help to improve the perception of the bank as customer-oriented and innovative, but also deepen the relationship with their customers and build trust.”


For banks, having a secure and reliable yet still flexible solution, such as a digital banking platform or a robust client onboarding experience, can prepare them for potential challenges or arising needs (such as regulatory developments, customer wishes, or changes within the bank) that will come up in the future. It can also ensure that all digital and physical channels are connected for a seamless omnichannel customer experience. This is crucial, since branches are still important to customers: The study revealed that of the key reasons for choosing a bank, a branch being located near the customer’s work or home was ranked number two. Enabling authentic human interactions across all touchpoints in the physical and digital worlds should be a huge focus for banks in Singapore going forward.


As Jeremy Soo, Managing Director and Head of Consumer Banking Group at DBS Bank and Fellow of the Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore, points out, “Branches will be used to support digital banking and become a place where you meet for social interaction. In the course of that interaction, products and services relating to a bank will be consumed, but only if they are embedded in a way that adds value to the customer journey.”


Additionally, they should be aware of digital disruptors, a growing global trend in today’s technology-driven world. 52% of the surveyed customers made it clear that they would consider virtual banking with a FinTech or a technology company as opposed to a company within the banking sector. If banks can engage customers on their terms wherever they are in their financial journeys, they will easily evolve their user experience and their digital offerings, and they will be seen by clients and prospects as customer-oriented and innovative.


With the Singapore banking industry putting a lot of effort into digital transformation, it’s essential that it remembers the reason for all of its effort: the customer. The customer journey needs to be effortlessly orchestrated and the various processes involved must be streamlined from the beginning to the end. Without this, today’s digitally connected customers will quickly lose patience and will move on to another company who can serve them better.


Read our whitepaper, How to Engage the Connected Customer, to learn more about successfully connecting with today’s customer.

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Written byYvonne NgaiMarketing Director APAC, Appway