Once upon a time the hallmark of a good bank was the offer of a free toaster for every new account and a superior customer relationship meant that the bank president was often in the lobby to shake your hand. Customer engagement in banking is an entirely different animal these days, a fact that is made evident by all the banks now scrambling to understand what’s required of the kind of digital experiences their customers are demanding.

There’s no question that the hurdles to acquire, deepen and grow primary bank relationships are higher than they’ve ever been. Not only is there increased customer expectation driven by the seamless digital experiences provided by organizations like Venmo, Uber and Netflix, but the field of competitors has grown larger and more fierce as well. As of 2014, 62% of small-midsized business said they were using a payment solution from a non-bank. That statistic may only represent a small portion of a bank’s customer base, but businesses in general are adopting new financial service products from non-banks at an alarming rate – and retail customers are following suit. In fact, according to a recent Novantas report, 58% of consumers who are looking to switch banks would be open to alternate providers like Amazon, Facebook, Apple of Google.

As banks come to terms with the shift in decades upon decades of status quo, it’s time to recognize that it’s no longer enough to simply provide transactionally-based payments and cash management services — that’s a commodity in this day and age. Winning the primary banking relationship now requires providing customers with a superior digital experience at every single touchpoint, executed in unique and compelling ways and delivering a level of intelligence that makes both the customer and their business smarter.

A recent article in Banking Exchange, “Using Intelligent Customer Engagement to Acquire, Deepen and Grow Primary Bank Relationships” provides an excellent analysis on the subject, detailing the opportunities and risks banks face, as well as providing the interesting perspective that experience is now the product for banks. Read the full article now.

Posted by Emily Rodenhuis

Emily Rodenhuis is a creative marketing writer specializing in content creation. Her work has been featured by BankNews, InfoSecurity, AFP magazine and more.