ABA Banking Journal - February 2010 - (Page 38)
Tech topics The web pages above, from Farmers State Bank and Legence Bank, were recently upgraded and demonstrate the fresh look that web users expect. Equally important is good functionality and the use of common terms and navigation within different parts of the site—bill payment and account opening, for example. These are examples of a larger trend that is pushing banks to include more online and mobile services. Channel Strategy, Forrester Research, Cambridge, Mass. While simple transactions such as bill payment have matured nicely and are fairly simple to execute, Higdon explains, more complex transactions such as wire transfers or account transfers or online account openings can leave customers stranded—or on the phone to the bank, driving up costs. Or, as Shevlin put it, is your multi-step process anxiety-provoking or self-explanatory? “Bankers need to think of convenience in terms of ease-of-use,” he adds. Adding to the complexity is that development teams and designers tend to vary from the public site to the authenticated site, resulting in a mishmash appearance that loses from a marketing perspective and can be confusing. Offering a seamless transition is a better idea. This kind of thinking drove much of the development work at Royal Bank of Canada. Jim McGuire, vice-president of Online Strategy and Client Experience, says his award-winning site was partially the result of 18 months of customer experience research. “We work with personas [an extension of psychographic, or behav38 february 2010/ABA BANKING JOURNAL ioral, segmentation] in order to shape messaging and workflow,” the banking executive explains. During a slew of systematically introduced upgrades, RBC also paid careful attention to consistency from the customer site, through to the authenticated site, and among product lines. “It’s important to standardize naming and navigation conventions,” says Mark Schwanhausser. “This should happen within the authenticated site. It should also happen from channel to channel. If you’re calling a checking product one thing online and another thing on the phone, you create confusion,” he adds. Mobile nudging internet banking along Mobile banking has raced through several iterations. It’s gone from text-based alerts and balance-check via applications derived from niche vendors, toward easier to install and upgrade applications from a consolidated group of vendors including ORCC and Digital Insight. Mobile, in some cases, has nudged the internet forward, particularly among the largest banks that tend to be bogged down with internal development for both channels. “The best mobile and internet services have landing pages where multiple transactions can be done and which offer consolidated views of all product holdings with the bank, says Ron Shevlin. In the case of Citibank says Javelin’s Schwanhausser, mobile is edging out the internet site in terms of offering the customer consolidated views of account holdings. On the whole, mobile will probably pull all internet transactional capability into a schedule of more frequent customer-friendly upgrades, he and others say. Bank of America, which is known for leading in bill payment and, says Schwanhausser, “offers pockets of really impressive capabilities although some of the interior site is clunky,” also supports services such as alerts to email and mobile devices. The Javelin analyst believes that one consequence of bankers’ renewed interest in keeping mobile relevant is that banks will finally give up batch systems once and for all. “There is this tendency to serve up stale information and banking customers increasingly will be impatient with this,” Schwanhausser explains. BJ Subscribe at www.ababj.com
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