Over half (57%) of corporations said they would accept paying higher fees for a web portal with more sophisticated self-service that allows them to manage their entire portfolio through the web, according to a survey by Pegasystems, a business process management (BPM) software solutions company, and Finextra Research. The findings show a significant market shift.
Another 46% of respondents said they would pay more for consistent service across different regions, channels and lines of business. Over half (53%) cited quick turnaround times to requests and inquiries as one reason they would increase doing business with their bank.
Not long ago, fees and interest rates were the two key competitive advantages for banking firms. The survey shows that this sentiment is now changing. Corporations are prioritising ease of access to service and information channels as critical elements of deciding where to place their business. The study found 64% of financial services institutions plan to invest significantly to improve and automate on-boarding and service processes this year, an almost 40% increase in response to the same question posed in a similar survey last year. But while financial firms grasp the need to automate customer service operations, many remain hamstrung by aging information systems that are too brittle to meet the new requirement.
The survey also found:
- More than two-thirds (68%) of corporations would consider switching banks for better customer service around on-boarding, account maintenance and query handling, a remarkable 24% increase over last year’s response to the same question.
- Inconsistent customer service across channels, regions and lines of business and poor access to service and information channels were the two most common reasons that corporations decreased the amount of business conducted with a bank.
- Banks’ IT departments continue to spend more to improve and automate on-boarding and service processes. Eighty-four percent of banks say they will spend money in this area in 2011, or 20% more than responding affirmatively this year.
- Amid a record number of bank closures, financial stability was understandably seen by banks as their second most important selling point and the number two criteria by which a corporation judges a new bank.
Paul Penrose, head of content at Finextra, said: “This comprehensive survey, which culled data from several key titles in customer service and treasury roles, shows the shifting market in financial services. More and more global corporations want additional value from their banking relationships, and advanced BPM and CRM technologies play a key role in providing high-quality customer service. The most successful financial institutions will be those who excel in this increasingly important area.”
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