Great Customer Experience in Financial Services Starts with Fit for Use Data

We all know that customer experience is pivotal for attracting and retaining customers in the banking industry. I recently had an interaction with my bank that brought this home in a big way. A few weeks ago, my iPhone’s Face ID failed to work, causing me to be locked out of my bank’s services. As a result, I had to call the bank to reset my passcode, which required me to verify my identity by providing my phone number, a secret phrase that I can never remember, and an email address that matched the one the bank has on file. 

For whatever reason, the bank couldn’t recognize my phone number, and the email address they had on file was an old one from a previous employer. Long story short, I was out of luck and VERY frustrated after being on the phone for over an hour. Keep in mind, this was one of those crazy days on Wall Street where I really needed to make a trade.

After the market closed, I received a call from a bank manager apologizing for my situation and explaining that the issues were most likely due to a recent upgrade of their mobile banking platform. He said that the phone number they had on file was not recognized because the system had included hyphens, and without entering hyphens they would not validate my identity. By re-entering the phone number without the hyphens, they were finally able to verify my information and allowed me to reset my passcode. As for the old email address, he had no clue what caused that to happen.

A couple of days after this incident, I began to receive email offers from the same bank to open up a new online brokerage account, with the promise of $500 if I did. It was pretty obvious the bank had no idea who I was as a customer, and it was clear to me that they had done nothing substantial to deal with the hidden data issues that caused me problems when they migrated to a new mobile banking platform. In other words, the bank had apparently not instituted data quality measures to ensure its data was fit for use.

Data Gaps Are Holding Back Banks’ Digital Transformation

My story is not unique. The banking industry has been on a digital transformation journey for some time now. Many institutions are modernizing their core banking, payments, and analytics applications to improve customer experience, with the result that most of their interactions with customers are 100% remote and/or digital.

And, the current pandemic is not slowing down spend in these areas. According to a recent EY report, the COVID-19 crisis has forced banks and their customers to use digital tools and processes to compensate for branch, office, and call center closures. Many Bank Governance Leadership Network participants believe that this digital acceleration will have a permanent effect on the industry. As one participant observed, “Every organization in financial services had a digital strategy of some kind, but this situation has become an accelerant.”   

Unfortunately, these investments will struggle to perform due to long-standing gaps in how banks integrate, manage, govern, and protect their most valuable asset, their data.  These issues stem from decades of neglecting the importance of investing in purpose-built solutions to manage, integrate, and share data to and from the systems that interact with customers, ensuring that data is fit for use.

Next Steps

The good news is there are solutions that can help address the data challenges and gaps to assist and protect the performance of these investments being made across the financial services industry.

To learn more, watch this on-demand webinar with Jim Marous, co-publisher of The Financial Brand, and yours truly. We discuss these trends, the associated challenges, and what leading financial institutions are doing to “Use Data to Drive Improved Customer Experiences” in today’s financial services industry.