In a recent study of US bank and credit union users, nearly half of all Gen Z and Millennials surveyed stated that the digital experience of a banking provider was very important in their decision to choose them. Despite this, many banks and credit unions are still focused on phone-calling as their main communication channel with their customers or members. This represents both a disconnect between financial institutions and their user’s desires, as well as a missed opportunity for growth.

“When over 80% of all phone callers are either on a screen or near a screen, it doesn’t make sense that so much of customer service is purely phone-only,” says John Fernandez, SVP of Marketing at Glia. Digitally-focused service is becoming a priority for users, and new challengers are stepping up to the plate where other financial institutions may not satisfy. Fintech apps, like third-party money transfer or money management services, are beginning to introduce financial products of their own. These can quickly become digitally-focused neobanks, which have the potential to steal market share from more traditional financial institutions. To maintain pressure and avoid being outmaneuvered by new innovators, focusing attention on digital service tools will put your institution’s presence where your users want to be. 

Glia wants to help get banks away from phones and into online, on-screen service channels. Moving to a digitally-focused customer service model not only shifts your focus to where your users really want to be, but also allows for the adoption of a variety of digital-only tools that enhances the customer experience. Fintechs have grown in popularity due to their ability to meet customer needs where traditional financial services were unable to, but if a traditional FI could incorporate fintech apps into their pre-existing digital channels, it would meet customer needs while leveraging the existing trust users have in established banks and credit unions.

Greg Varnell, VP of Product & Development at Q2, sees integrating fintechs into the Q2 digital platform via their accelerator program and marketplace as a great opportunity for FIs to expand their digital customer service offerings. “At Q2, we have used our technology stack and our caliber SDK to invite the fintechs to come integrate directly into our digital banking platform” says Varnell, “this makes it easier for end-users to identify and locate those [features]… we really have an amazing opportunity to put the exact application an end-user is looking for right in their lap”. Rather than trying to compete with these fintechs, one can simply incorporate their features into your own Q2 digital banking platform, expanding the range of options and satisfying the wide range of desires your end-users may have. 

 

Using Conversational AI to Improve Digital Satisfaction

When turning to a digitally-focused model of service, one of the many tools that becomes available is Conversational AI. Finn AI’s own AI-Powered chatbot can be integrated into both Glia and Q2, and works alongside your support staff to increase the speed, quality, and overall satisfaction of your customer service experience. Q2 and Glia customers alike are using Finn AI’s virtual assistant chatbot to improve their digital customer service, with pre-integration that’s proven effective. 

25% of Gen Z and 18% of Millennials are at least somewhat often frustrated with their digital banking experience, compared to only 11% of Baby Boomers. The younger the generation, the higher expectations they have for digital service, and dissatisfaction with digital service could lead to them seeking out a new place to manage their finances. These two generations would also rather try to self-serve online before they try calling your contact center, so minimizing the time that they spend in customer service, and increasing the efficiency of this service, is crucial. 

“Our main reason for starting a conversational banking support channel [with Finn AI] was to meet the customer in their preferred location, 24/7/365” says Justin Knowles of City Bank Texas. Live, text-based chat is the support channel with the widest appeal among all generations, and an AI-driven chatbot can provide a live chat experience at any hour, without requiring a human agent to answer user questions. Users want service when it’s convenient for them, including outside your institution’s normal operating hours.

“Virtual assistants provide intelligent, guided, 24/7 self-service that allows for both efficiency, and improved customer service” says John Fernandez. One of the benefits of AI-powered chatbots for your digital customer service platform is being able to automatically answer low-value, routine questions or service requests without requiring a human agent to intervene. Password resets, asking for branch locations, checking the balance of accounts, this can all be done by a banking chatbot in just as intuitive of a manner as a human agent could accomplish. 

This was a big draw towards conversational AI for Warren Pattison, Head of Emerging Technology at United FCU, saying “We distinctly could have that bot answer a number of questions that was taking up a lot of our time with our call center and frontline staff”. Streamlining the customer service experience with digital-only tools improves customer satisfaction, keeping users content with your service, maintaining retention. 

 

Drawing in the Next Generation with a Digital-Focused Model

31% of Gen Z and 28% of Millennials said that a virtual assistant was a tool they anticipated seeing in the future for their financial institution. As user interests shift over time, expanding your service offerings to meet these needs becomes an imperative. If traditional banks or credit unions don’t begin to focus their attention on digital service, fintechs and neobanks will fill in and take more market share. Using Glia’s digitally-focused customer service tools bring your customers away from phones and into the digitally-focused platforms they’re most comfortable using, and Q2’s digital banking platform can incorporate the features your users want to see with their FI. 

 

For more on Q2 and Glia’s integration with Finn AI, check out this video, compiling Glia’s SVP of Marketing John Fernandez and Q2’s VP of Product and Development Greg Varnell speaking at the Conversational Banking Summit 2021 on the future of digital banking.