What exactly do consumers want to hear from financial institutions?

What exactly do consumers want to hear from financial institutions?

A survey of 2,000 UK consumers commissioned by CREALOGIX found that one in four under 37s are now using digital-only challenger banks and 14% of UK bank customers across all age groups have at least one mobile-only digital banking provider.

While there’s a discussion to be had around whether these users are really “banking” with the likes of Monzo – with people using them more as a secondary service to pay friends quickly, to buy stuff abroad, and to set weekly budgets – it’s clear the financial services sector has to do better in general with how and when it communicates with consumers.

What do consumers want from the financial services sector?

Based on the stats above, it would appear that consumers want to drive the conversation with banks and other financial services enterprises. However, in order to retain customers, providers must show that they can add value on top of the products and services they offer.

Perhaps the best way to frame customer communications is to, first and foremost, ensure you’re not doing anything that will turn-off a customer and prompt them to look elsewhere.

According to a survey quoted by FIS Global Banking Solutions, the top four communication criteria that could trigger a consumer’s decision to change banking providers are:

1. Messages that contain errors (50%)

2. Messages that are not easy to understand (48%)

3. Messages not sent at the right time (37%)

4. Messages that are not relevant (29%)

The same study found that almost two-thirds (63%) of consumers would consider switching banking providers if communications don’t meet their expectations.

“Negative banking experiences, ranging from minor to major (e.g., statement issues, call wait times, service outages, data breaches, confusing criteria, missing transaction status updates) are exacerbated exponentially when there is a gap or void of timely, accurate and instructive communications from the bank,” FIS’ report states.

Ineffectual and infrequent communication makes customers feel like they are not valued. But it’s clear that poorly timed and irrelevant messages can also make a customer feel like the service being provided is not personalised for their individual preferences and needs.

How important is the timing of communication?

To ensure relevance and value, personalised communications must be delivered in a timely fashion, which, in line with today’s expectation, this often means nearly instantaneous.

In order to achieve this, however, systems, processes and data must be available in real time, while the provider’s communication solutions must be able to provision communications at a rapid pace via the preferred channel - all the while ensuring compliance is upheld.

Along with increased regulation, the number of communication channels in use has also exploded – leaving room for compliance gaps. To avoid compliance discrepancies organisations often choose to play safe and simply restrict the use of digital platforms - but it’s at the expense of customer experience.

Technology is vital to being able to make timely, compliant communication a reality for corporations in the financial services sector. The entire value chain of the communications process and flow (i.e., from trigger point identification through creation, composition, enrichment, distribution, delivery, storage, tracking and governance) must be leveraged.

This is what the technology-led disruptors like Monzo can do better than the bigger traditional enterprises which have been slow to overhaul their back-end systems. That’s not to say that they haven’t made significant investments in IT – they have – but there’s still a speed issue that remains when it comes to comms.

That’s where Paragon’s One Platform can add value.

One Platform can eliminate complexity while increasing your speed to market, ensuring you deliver compliant communications that protect your brand.

With One Platform’s fully integrated ecosystem and our expert support team, you can centralise your customer communications while empowering individual departments or regional teams to respond immediately to ever-changing customer and market demands.

Track and trace at individual communication level to deliver instant query resolution and exceed customer expectations. Give the people want they want: timely, helpful and relevant messages via their preferred channel. 



Amanda Beesley


Amanda Beesley
Managing Director, Financial Services & Insurance