Strong Potential for Innovation for Banks’ Customer E-communications, Finds Report

Efma has launched the third study in a series jointly developed with Atos Worldline, which looks at the development of electronic channels and the impact this is having on the management of customer relationships.

The research was carried out with 47 banks from eight different European countries – Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Turkey and the UK. An additional 17 face-to-face and telephone interviews were carried out with banks. Some of the key findings include:

The availability of electronic channel services from banks varies quite considerably, and there are differing views on the role of SMS banking and video conferencing, but the trend is for a rapid increase in the provision of all services within the next three years. SMS alerts are the most common service offered by banks with 79% already providing the service, but SMS banking is much less common with just 32% of banks offering the service.

The development of new electronic channels has been haphazard for many banks and built on to inflexible legacy systems, which means that integration is often quite low, but investment in e-channels and integration of e-channels is likely to grow.

Decisions in relation to e-channel investments have been relatively defensive for many banks and measuring return on investment has been a major problem, but some banks have clearly taken a lead and new innovation priorities are emerging.
Patrick Desmarès, secretary general of Efma, said: “This research shows there is a very significant difference between the leaders and the laggards in terms of developing use of e-channels to improve CRM capabilities. This can be due to lack of budget or lack of vision.”

Julie Noir de Chazournes, head of markets, business marketing and strategy at Atos Worldline, said: “Banks in general are making good progress in terms of introducing new channels and services, and developing new ways of managing customer relationships. However, there is still much greater potential to use electronic channels for gathering and analysing more information about customers and their behaviours. If this information is managed well, it should lead to a better understanding of customers, more sophisticated behavioural segmentation and targeting of relevant offers, and provision of an appropriate customer experience. However, to achieve this and to improve their sales and service performance, banks will need to ensure they are learning from the best-in-class e-commerce companies and not just other banks.”


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