A few decades ago, a simple financial transaction meant putting everything on hold and spending your entire day queuing at a bank. Fast forward to today’s world; you can now deposit, withdraw, and send money in only a few seconds while you go about your business. All this is thanks to modern technology. What’s riveting is that it only gets better. Financial institutions are now taking advantage of the 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created every day to improve service delivery. Through predictive analytics, for instance, banks can achieve a seamless customer experience while at the same time shielding themselves from risks and losses. Here’s what you should know about predictive analytics in financial services. Read more

The digital migration is swiftly revolutionizing the way customers buy products and services. Now that digital banking is used by approximately 51 percent of the world’s adult population, financial institutions should focus on creating a sustainable digital marketing program for a fully digital world. This starts by understanding the applicable digital marketing metrics. The following are the six categories of metrics behind digital marketing for financial services:

1. Traffic Metrics

Traffic metrics are mainly measured and monitored during the traffic generation stage. They are very crucial for both SEO and Pay-Per-Click digital marketing strategies. There are several aspects to consider when evaluating traffic metrics, including site traffic and sources of traffic.

Site Traffic

Significant changes in the overall website traffic can give you an insight into how effective a particular digital marketing strategy is. When evaluating the overall site traffic, you should not only focus on the number of page views or hits your site gets, but you should also consider the number of unique visitors your website gets within a specific period. The more unique visitors your website gets, the higher the probability of acquiring potential customers.

Sources Of Traffic

Identifying where your website traffic is generated from and what specific keywords brought them to you can give you an insight on where you should focus your digital marketing campaigns. If search engines are the primary source of the most traffic, you should focus your efforts on SEO marketing. If most traffic is coming from social networking sites, you should focus more on social media marketing, and so forth. Be sure to explore other traffic sources that may prove to be beneficial for your business.

When evaluating the sources of traffic, it is important to assess both the number of mobile and non-mobile website visitors. As more and more people access the internet through their Internet-capable mobile devices, digital marketers must consider mobile traffic an important metric.

2. Engagement Metrics

Is your website content resonating with your website visitors? After reading your content, do they take any action and, if so, how consistently or regularly? Are website visitors downloading white papers and e-brochures or filling out forms?

There are various ways you can evaluate engagement metrics. One of them is by checking the number of clicks your pay-per-click ads receive. Another way is tracking the number of comments, likes, shares, and reposts on social media. You can utilize Google Analytics to track website and app engagement metrics, including page views, unique visitors, and the average time spent on your content.

To boost engagement, you should consider including at least one call-to-action on each of your landing pages, services pages, email, or any other marketing channels that presents a conversion opportunity. You should also review all of your communication channels so you can identify the ones that are generating your desired response. By doing so, you will be able to determine what to change and what to replicate in future digital marketing campaigns.

3. Retention Metrics

Retention metrics are all about establishing whether you are holding your prospects and customers’ attention beyond the initial contact. You should not only check the number of returning website visitors and social media followers, but you should also take note of the bounce-rate, opt-out rate, and the number of unsubscribes.

If the retention numbers outnumber the opt-outs, it’s a good sign that your marketing message is resonating with the target audience. If the retention numbers are decreasing, you should revise your messaging and align it with your target audience’s needs.

4. Conversion Metrics

While getting lots of traffic to your website is an achievement, it won’t mean much if your site visitors remain just that – visitors. The primary purpose of your digital marketing campaign is to convert website traffic into potential customers. As a financial institution, the conversion metrics you should pay attention to are the number of new account openings and new loan applications you get after launching your digital marketing campaigns.

5. Revenue Metrics

The success of your digital marketing campaign can be evaluated appropriately by revenue metrics. You can determine the Return On Investment (ROI) by assessing the website traffic that eventually converted into new business leads or paying customers. By evaluating this metric, you will be able to identify the areas in your digital marketing campaign that are driving sales and revenue.

6. Cost Metrics

This is where you evaluate the amount you spend to launch your marketing campaigns. You have to consider metrics such as the amount you spend on every direct mail campaign you make, every monthly blog post or newsletter you publish, etc. Be sure to determine how each of your marketing efforts is impacting the bottom line, and then use your findings to plan a viable strategy for future digital marketing campaigns and sales cycles.

Data Is An Asset

Everyone agrees that data is one of the most valuable assets any business can have. It’s not the data itself that matters, but what a company does with it. With lots of data at hand, financial institutions have to rethink the way they handle data to be more customer-centric, and, as a result, more profitable.

 

 

Preach the value of your product and the customer will come to you; this is the conventional mindset through which traditional marketers in the financial sector used to attract customers. Having a billboard to talk about how cheap a product is and commercial portraying an optimized customer journey would be enough, but times have changed. The modern-day customers have shifted their mentality towards being attracted to more than just the price of financial solutions.

On top of getting something affordable, they want better data protection, faster service delivery, and even better customer support. With issues such as data theft and fraud turning into a regular occurrence, the need to weave these aspects into marketing strategy becomes even more apparent. Even worse, more companies are cropping up with better solutions every day, which are easily accessible.

Digitization of the financial industry does little to make the life of the traditional bank executive easier. The most successful modern bank executives view this disruption as an opportunity rather than a threat. It takes the concerted effort of the whole organization (marketing, HR, finance and analytics department, etc.) to prepare a bank for the changing landscape of the modern financial industry.

Here are some things that should be done to attract the attention of modern financial customers:

It Starts With Changing the Marketing Mentality

Sure, the time to shine might have already expired for the traditional marketing models, but the modern-day ones can’t exist without these models. The 7Ps (price, product, promotion, place, people, physical, and process) still play a significant role in identifying the best way to direct marketing efforts- though they were majorly used in the 1990s. On the flip side, calculating ROI and using the 4Cs (customer, convenience, communication, and cost) brings a new perspective into marketing.

Ideally, blending both the modern and traditional models should help understand more about the brand, analytics, customer insights, and customer experience. This combination also helps to identify capability gaps in the choice of marketing strategy and looking for ways to bridge the gap.

Data Should Be Treated As an Asset

Consumer and product data paints a picture of who the target consumer is. It provides details about the buyer personas in the line of what makes them tick and itch. As a result, marketing teams need to encourage improving the sources of data to make their firm more competent to provide for the market.

This goal will need them to invest in data analytics tools that can help track the customer journey. Since every detail counts, working in collaboration with the analytics team is crucial. What’s even more critical is the protection of the collected data from both cybercriminals and the competition- to earn the trust of customers.

Collaboration With Bank Executives

Bank leadership often view the marketing function as merely a cost center. This perspective can accompany some form of distrust by the CEOs, especially if they fail to see a measurable return on investment. Fifty-seven percent of current CMOs have only held on to their position in the firm for three years and less, according to the Harvard Business Review research. This situation breeds a problem where top bank executives might subtly ignore great ideas from marketers.

The best way to bridge this gap of ideology is for bank marketing executives to work hand in hand with other bank executives. Bank marketing executives should turn themselves into ROI marketers seeking to provide value for each marketing dollar spent. Additionally, they should make it their goal to use cost-effective marketing methods to grab the attention of other bank executives. By understanding where the other bank executives are coming from, it will become quite easy to craft ideas into those that can rhyme with their expectations.

It Takes the Right Talent Pool

While modern marketing techniques and data-driven insight will get an organization the right customers, it takes a unique talent pool to put them into action. Everyone on a modern bank marketing team, including marketing managers, big data scientists, and the analytics team needs on the same page in regards to the bank’s marketing goals and objectives.

They need to be fluent in using analytics and artificial intelligence technology to place the business favorably in the market. This means getting the right data, working on personalized financial solutions, and measuring marketing effectiveness. With a best-practice strategy for modern bank marketing, identifying innovations that will make bank marketing more targeted and efficient becomes easier.

The Whole Organization Should Be Involved

Sixty-six percent of surveyed financial institutions are of the idea that having a consistent marketing message throughout the organization is pivotal for success. It can be baffling for a customer to talk to the sales team and the customer service team while receiving a different message from both. Ideally, you should ensure that all departments work in collaboration in supporting the marketing message that you create for your financial solutions.

Because it only takes one broken link to lose a customer, the marketing team should ensure that all departments and outside providers are more than aware of the role they play in the marketing strategy. They should also request bank executives to provide the tools and technology to make this collaboration easier.

Disruption in the financial industry isn’t going to end today, and only the most resourceful marketing teams can best place their financial solutions close enough to the consumer. It takes an overhaul from the conventional marketing mentality to remain viable in today’s marketing atmosphere. The more banks can learn to change their internal and external mindset, the easier it will be to attract the right customers.

 

 

Artificial intelligence is slowly taking over daily business operations. Many different industries are using artificial intelligence to improve efficiency and enhance the customer experience. From automating repetitive tasks to analyzing large amounts of data in real time, the collection of technologies that comprise artificial intelligence hold much promise for the future.

However, your bank may be lagging in adopting AI. While many other industries are using AI to add value to their overall business strategy, banks are still struggling to develop processes that link distinct data sets while keeping confidential data safe.

This slow adoption doesn’t mean that AI technologies are inapplicable to banking. AI is capable of saving the banking sector over $1 trillion in the next 12 years. Subsets of AI, such as machine learning and language processing, can be used to enhance the online banking experience, improve data security, and automate mundane tasks for employees.

Use Cases for AI in the banking sector

The use cases for AI in banks are widespread. While many of these technologies may currently be in their early stages, growth and usability will increase at a rapid pace over the next few years.

Here are five use cases of AI in banks.

1 – Using intelligent analytics to initiate real-time data analysis

As with many other industries, banks need to follow a data-driven approach if they wish to remain competitive. Data in banking is widespread- including financial records, customer data, market data, ACH data, and credit reports. Artificial intelligence can be used in enabling banks to receive analysis from these data sources more efficiently.

Rather than merely using descriptive analytics, AI allows banks to uncover valuable insights in their data through predictive and prescriptive analytics. This means that you can use complex algorithms and tools that sift through large quantities of data and uncover patterns/correlations that you didn’t think existed before.

These new insights can then be used to model investment risk, implement biometric security models, and detect fraud in daily financial transactions.

2 – Using predictive analytics to enhance data safety

Your bank can also use AI technologies to enhance the safety of customer data. For example, machine learning can be used to implement new security measures that are harder to bypass. Voice recognition is currently being applied to assist with password protection, while predictive analytics can be used to detect unusual customer behavior and alert relevant personnel in good time.

Geographical controls are also useful, where transactions made from a different area than usual can be flagged and verified before approval.

3 – Using digital personal assistants to enhance the customer experience

Digital personal assistants (also called chatbots) are designed to interact with customers in a more human-like behavior. Think of it as a 24/7 personalized customer service resource, which your customers can use to request for information, assistance, and advice. Some chatbots even deliver timely financial tips to bank customers via voice and text.

In this way, your employees will spend less time addressing basic requests (such as balance inquiries and transferring funds) and more time attending to complex customer concerns (such as resolving fraudulent transactions).

4 – Enhance the user interface of mobile banking apps

Online and mobile banking has become the norm for customers today. Many account holders don’t make trips to their nearest bank branch unless they have to.

Artificial intelligence can be used to enhance both the mobile and online banking experience by providing personal, secure, and convenient services. For example, machine learning tracks user behavior and offers a wide range of personalized suggestions.

From budgeting tips to personal planning assistance, the user interfaces of mobile banking apps can be enhanced by AI technologies. This improved experience can be achieved at a lower cost and without increasing the workload of employees.

5 – Using Robotic Process Automation to carry out repetitive tasks

RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is a type of AI technology that can be used to automate repetitive human tasks in a more accurate and timely manner. What happens is that various inputs are set, after which specific rules can be applied to those inputs.

RPA can be used to examine loan applications, aggregate data into a common database, and even automate basic procurement processes (such as purchasing office supplies).

Implementing RPA allows banks to reduce human error, carry out mundane processes faster, and make better decisions based on analytics.

Getting Started With AI

With the numerous benefits that AI provides to banks, you shouldn’t be left behind in implementing these technologies. Don’t know where to start? Insight Financial Marketing (IFM) provides AI support to banks in many different ways. Our real-time customer behavior intelligence technologies help you uncover valuable insights and improve the overall user experience.

IFM also has proprietary Artificial Intelligence solutions that can be leveraged to make your bank more competitive in a fast-moving world. Ready to take the next step into intelligent analytics? Contact IFM today.

 

 

The ACH Network has seen significant increases in its utilization by both businesses and consumers. Learning how to harness this information real time will help your bank stay ahead of the competition. In 2018, the adoption of electronic payments reached new heights with an increase of over 1.5 billion additional payments registered with the NACHA service (the electronic payments association that implements and oversees ACH transactions). Although this increase in ACH transactions has been a trend for the past half-decade, the addition of more than 1 billion payments is still impressive.

ACH Transaction: The Numbers Breakdown

The following is a more in-depth breakdown of the numbers concerning the success of ACH transactions of late.

  • The total transaction volume of 23 billion payments seen in the year 2018 was a nearly 7% increase over the previous year, and the highest one seen in the past decade (since 2008).
  • These 23 billion payments translated to an impressive $51.2 trillion, which is about equal to the combined gross domestic products of the top three nations on Earth – the United States, the European Union, and China.
  • Although the payment tally has been increasing consistently for the last six years, this total for 2018 still represented an unexpected boom and far outpaced the projected values.

Diving Into the Details of ACH Transactions

To get a better idea of the significance of this gigantic increase in this particular form of electronic payment, and how it stacks up against the alternatives, consider the volume of same-day ACH payments. With 178 million same-day payments in 2018, this represented an increase of a 137% when compared to the previous year:

2017: 130 million same-day ACH transactions
2018: 178 million same-day ACH transactions

The total amount from 2018 ACH transactions was nearly $160 billion, an 83% increase in the numbers from the year 2017. As remarkable as the above numbers are, the economic character of ACH transactions is slated to continue improving as NACHA is focused on the effectiveness of the Same Day ACH dimension to enhance its benefits to business and consumers.

The Impact of this Growing Method of Electronic Payments on a Business

As the systems behind ACH transaction payments become more robust, you can expect the analysis of consumer financial behavior to become increasingly prevalent. After all, there is already an increased competition between payment and debit systems. Financial institutions that can predict changes in consumer behavior are primed to pull ahead of their competition.

The impact of consumer behavior becomes especially important to a financial institution as it grows in size, requiring the financial institution to identify trends in consumer behavior data. Proper strategic decision making based on insight born from transactional data will see the size of the deposits grow for a financial institution.

NACHA: Major Points of Interest

  • Although an emphasis on expediting and increasing the volume of same-day payments is the future of the ACH transaction, same-day payments comprised a modest percentage of the overall transactions in 2018.
  • Same-day ACH payments were still a 137% improvement over the previous year. It is precisely this unprecedented level of growth that has NACHA placing such an emphasis on further improving same-day payments.
  • Both Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) transactions experienced significant increases in the realm of digital commerce; notably, the preference for electronic means of payment over paper checks. For B2B, the increase was 9.4%, and for Person to Person (P2P), the number was a 32% increase.
  • Overall, many more transactions occurred in the online space than the previous year, with a 14.2% increase.
  • Direct deposits from employer to the bank account of an employee also saw a 4.4% rise, which is expected to grow considerably as more and more banks offer incentives for consumers to opt for this transactional method.

Conclusion

The increase in ACH transaction numbers are staggering and only expected to increase. With total business (B2B) transactions in the range of $35 trillion in 2018, the opportunity to analyze and make proper decisions based on ACH transaction data could mean the difference between close competitors in the financial services industry.