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Banks Struggle to Meet Customer Demand for Personalization

By Alicia Young September 27, 2016

How satisfied are you with your bank’s ability to guide you in the right financial direction? Is the experience personalized, or do you feel like you’re being treated like any other customer? Maybe you even feel like an inconvenience? If you’re unsatisfied with your banking experiences, you’re not alone. Personetics, a provider of personalized digital guidance solutions for the financial industry, just released the industry’s first personalized banking benchmark. The conclusion? Banks are falling drastically short of meeting consumer expectations for personalized financial guidance.

The “Personalization in Banking: 2016 Benchmarking Report” is based on surveys and analyses of consumers and over 300 financial institutions conducted by the Digital Banking Report and Personetics. The results of the report were clear: customers want personalized guidance when it comes to reaching their financial goals, and banks aren’t giving it to them.

“Most banks are doing a decent job of alerting customers to something that stands out on their account, like potential fraud,” said David Sosna, Co-Founder and CEO of Personetics. “However, when it comes to more sophisticated and useful personalized guidance, like recognizing spending patterns, analytics to predict upcoming issues, and a deep understanding of the customer to help them save more, this is where banks are lacking capabilities.”

In our digital world, almost everything we see is personalized thanks to cookies and a variety of other functions; so it stands to reason that people are going to want personalization in all aspects of their lives—especially in places it matters most, like finances.

Unfortunately, customers’ needs aren’t being met. The report found that almost three-quarters of banks are either progressing or lagging, while only 6 percent are leading the way with best-in-class personalization capabilities. Worse, mid-size institutions are falling the furthest behind, with 38 percent ranked as stragglers and only 21 percent qualifying as either sophisticated or best-in-class.

The issue isn’t that banks are unaware of this need, though. They are just unable to act on this problem because their personalization maturity is not very high. When polled, only 17 percent of banks considered themselves “advanced” in terms of personalization maturity. Meanwhile, an even more unsettling 40 percent considered themselves “static.” A lack of maturity does not bode well for customers who require personalization in their financial dealings.

“Providing personalized guidance to help consumers meet their financial goals is no longer an option for banks, it's a necessity,” said Jim Marous, Publisher, Digital Banking Reportand co-Publisher of The Financial Brand. “With a variety of banking options now available to consumers and FinTech disrupters emerging onto the scene, financial institutions must be able to provide individualized, useful, real-time insights and guidance in order to maintain relationships with their customers.”

Let’s hope that banks figure out how to close the gap between what‘s possible and what customers need as soon as possible.




Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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