Five trends that will make bank brands more loveable

August 2019, Written by James Packer

As the trend towards digitisation changes up a gear, we can expect to witness more radical changes in the market. A new breed of banks, unencumbered by legacy systems, are reshaping the banking experience.

1. Lounges, not branches
While not all banks have branches, those that do are working hard at making them feel different. The focus is shifting from a transactional space to a more comfortable social one, equipped with soft seating, refreshments and digital installations. Tellers are moving from behind the counter to meet with customers more informally. As mobile services expand, banks will look to merge both the digital and in-branch experience by way of self-service kiosks and video ATMs that provide an opportunity to chat with a remote teller.

Mother and daughter using customer tablets in the bank's lounge area.
Warba Bank’s Al Masi lounge

2. Don’t act like a bank
In the interest of making the customer experience as friction-free as possible, banks are moving away from the formal, traditional and conservative nature that has become so synonymous with the industry. Today’s customers expect something different – they prefer more playful, straight talking brand personalities.

3. Know your customers remotely
Form filling and wet signatures are not only inconvenient for customers and costly to process, they pose a huge barrier to customer sign-up. Forward-thinking challenger bank brands are coming up with new, faster ways to verify their customers, including voice and fingerprint recognition.

4. Biometrically secure
In today’s day and age, the average person has over 27 discrete online logins. Customers simply don’t want to remember any more PIN codes, passwords or security code devices. Digital and app-only banks are now integrating fingerprint, facial recognition and voice security methods to allow customers to log-on securely and seamlessly.

5. Social service
In a similar vein, the model for customer interaction is rapidly changing. Customers want an immediate and simple response that provides them with the tools and information to make efficient decisions. Brands are now turning to chat interfaces to provide non-confidential information and get feedback. Some are investing in clever technology to build chatbots on platforms like Skype, while others are employing the use of commonplace chat apps like WhatsApp to provide a quick and stress-free alternative to customer service hotlines.