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Digital banking – delighting customers at key touchpoints

User behavior in banking is becoming increasingly digital - as confirmed by recent studies, also in an industry comparison. As a result, the importance of online banking as a key digital touchpoint for the customer experience continues to grow. In this article, we therefore take a closer look at the question of how banks and fintechs can design this touchpoint intelligently and effectively. In doing so, we focus on two areas: the needs of customers and the requirements with regard to the bank's own IT infrastructure.

In the latest Digital Sentiment Survey by management consultants McKinsey, banking is rated as one of the digital winners. As part of the study, users across Europe were asked about their behavior with regard to digital channels. Compared with the previous year, a particularly strong increase in the use of digital channels was observed in Germany and Austria. This goes hand in hand with an already high penetration overall, which was driven by the pandemic years, among other things. These findings are supported by those of the Digital Banking Maturity Study conducted this year by consultants Deloitte Digital. Preference for using digital channels has increased by 7 percentage points in Germany compared to the 2020 survey, strong growth by European standards. In contrast, the “Digital Banking Maturity (DBM) Index” – an overall metric for assessing a digital maturity level – improved by only one percentage point, which is low compared to other countries. Accordingly, the gap between the demand for attractive digital banking services and a corresponding offer seems to be widening, especially in the German market.

Online banking as a driver of competitive strength

Online banking is a well-established and frequently used part of the customer journey for banking transactions and financial services. Accordingly, there is great potential here that banks and financial institutions can leverage to improve the digital user experience they offer. For traditional banks, the intensity of competition in this area is particularly high, especially from neo and challenger banks. With comparable products and services, these players place a strong focus on the user experience as a key factor for differentiation. This is also reflected in their lead over established banks in the Deloitte DBM Index in these areas.

Based on our experience in the development of online banking software, applications should be consistently geared to the needs of users. In this way, the digital product experience can be improved and competitiveness increased in consideration of the developments in customer behavior described above. The customer touchpoint online banking and its refinement are also a particularly effective building block of the digital transformation because it has a high and regular visibility in the course of customer journeys.

Three important factors for a good customer experience in digital banking

Time savings and user-friendliness are generally very important factors for digital banking and thus also for online banking applications. It is therefore essential for banks and fintechs to find out what is particularly valuable to their respective customers in the interactions surrounding their accounts and payments. Key questions include: What do customers want to see as quickly as possible after logging into the application? What exactly do they want to do frequently? The answers and data collected on questions like these can be used to derive specific points for designing the user experience in online banking. These can be summarized in three overarching factors that are closely linked: Clarity, relevance and accessibility. Users who have quick and intuitive access to the data and actions that are particularly important to them should develop a high level of satisfaction with the online banking service they use. This in turn strengthens customer loyalty and the brand perception of banks.

An often-mentioned buzzword in digital banking that is closely related to the topic of accessibility is “mobile first”. While mobile devices and apps are important and firmly established channels, individual customer and user orientation must not be ignored in this case either. According to the results of the McKinsey Digital Sentiment Survey, the website and computer are still the dominant ways users interact with banking services. The factors described for improving the user experience should therefore be addressed for all target group and customer segments so that individually tailored use environments can be offered. As a result, a consistent omnichannel brand experience can be built up in this way.

Accelerate digital transformation with external development partnership

With such a target scenario for the design of the online banking touchpoint, banks are faced with the decision of whether to implement it as an in-house development or by purchasing the software from an external provider. To accelerate their own digital transformation, the external “buy” decision offers clear advantages. This is particularly true for smaller to medium-sized banks and financial institutions that have only limited in-house resources for IT and software development – especially in terms of personnel. By leveraging an already developed and mature solution that relies, among other things, on proven standard components for easy implementation, time-to-market can be shortened and a new enhanced customer experience can be rolled out quickly.

Finally, there is one important condition for implementation in partnership with an external provider: It should be possible to make continuous customizations in line with customer needs via flexible white-label software. Depending on the scope and requirements, these can either be carried out directly by the banks themselves or implemented via individual software enhancements. Such individual tailoring of the customer experience can include, for example, product configuration, multi-language capability and adaptations to local standards, or different user interface themes for customer segmentation.


Do you want to refine your online banking as the key touchpoint of your product and brand experience and thus differentiate yourself from the competition? Then learn more about BANCOS Online Banking here – our online banking suite for specialized retail banks. Feel free to contact us if you would like individual consultation or a demo of the software.

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